A Guide to Planning a Sustainable Day Out: Visiting Social Pantries and Green Spaces

looking up at trees in the wood
*Collaborative Post

With the summer season just kicking in, it is the perfect time to get cracking on your holiday list! Who doesn’t enjoy the breezy summer air while you relax with your loved ones at picturesque scenery? With the rise in pollution levels, not to mention having just resurfaced from a global pandemic, planning a sustainable day out for yourself and your family members is the need of the hour.

Not only will it act as a great stress buster for everyone but also ensure that your decisions minimise the impact on the environment, paving the road towards sustainability. To top it off, a wholesome family day out is a great alternative to support local communities and businesses in your town!

We can all agree, that the most exciting part of any holiday is the planning stage where we all put on our thinking hats and look forward to creating cherishable memories and shortlisting exciting activities for our day out. To ease this task, here is a detailed guide with some great tips and tricks to help you plan a sustainable day out with your loved ones!

  •  Quick Covid Tests

First things first, if you are planning a sustainable holiday for your family members, you should book a covid test. Thankfully the number of covid cases has reduced but that doesn’t mean it has disappeared completely. It’s best to consider this precautionary measure and book PCR tests for all members of your family before you go on your trip.

In case you are flying or travelling to different parts of the world, several governments still ask for a recent PCR test. Having certified and government-approved PCR tests acts as a great safety measure for both parties involved so, do consider giving this one a thought.

  •  Being a Conscious Flyer

It is no secret that when it comes to travelling, flying is considered a leading cause of the increase in CO2 emissions and greenhouse gases. It’s understandable that one can’t completely avoid travelling by flight but we can consider minimising the impact of carbon emissions by opting for different airlines. For instance, sites such as Glooby offer a list of the most fuel-efficient flights that you can consider for your holiday.

Additionally, Atmosfair Airline Index sums up all the different airlines you frequently use and draws up a list of CO2 emissions by these airlines. This can give you a fair picture of which airline to book for your next trip while making a conscious decision to take care of the environment.

Minimising the number of layoffs can also actively reduce the CO2 emitted while travelling from one destination to another.

  •  Sustainability Through Trains & Coaches

Travelling by trains and coaches is a far better alternative if you are thinking of giving the outskirts of your country a try this summer. For instance, the Eurostar railways list the number of CO2 emissions on their London to Paris network to be 8 pounds per passenger. This is surely a safer number when compared to a flight route that measures close to 127 pounds!

If you are looking to travel around the countryside of different countries then perhaps give Interrail Pass a shot as they help in reducing the consumption of carbon footprint. On the other hand, travelling by coach is the most eco-friendly alternative you can consider for your family.

As per the statistics of the UK Government’s Department for Transport, a car running on petrol and travelling from London to Glasgow emits nearly four times more CO2 per passenger when compared to a coach. So, in terms of the best alternative out there, coaches always rank higher than trains or even flights, especially on an individualistic basis.

  •  Electric Cars For The Win

Gone are the days when you needed to drive a car on the open road meant adding to the pollution rate and depending on petrol. With the advancement in technology, now you can easily switch to a sustainable and eco-friendly alternative. For instance, switching to an electric car ensures you minimise the emissions along your journey and travel without harming the environment.

You might wonder that an electric car does eventually run out of power right, especially if you are travelling for longer distances? Well, the good part is most of the newer variants of an electric car can drive up to 200 miles on a single charge. Moreover, road networks across the UK and other countries are well-equipped with a number of rapid charge points.

In case you are struggling to find one near you, then maybe downloading Zap-Map on your device can help you locate the closest charging point along your journey.

  •  Book Yourself an Adventure

If you are an adventure junkie, then there are several great activities that you can try out. Perhaps the sound of a quad bike safari excites you; a fun-filled session of paintballing with your family members is just what you want to do.

If these outdoor adventures got your blood pumping then you must add these day-out activities to your list! Such outdoor escapades are a great way to bond with your loved ones and be a brilliant stress buster! There is something for everyone here and it’s certainly a great way to blow off some steam and relax.

While you are at it, ensure that you keep your surroundings clear of any waste or litter. Using reusable water bottles and napkins on your trip to avoid the consumption of plastic.

It’s best to avoid disposable napkins and use and throw cutlery as this too can be harmful to the environment.

  •  Consider Luscious Open Spaces

Summer calls for basking under the sun and enjoying luscious green spaces with your family. Summer holidays is incomplete without visiting parks, and beaches or hiking in the forest to connect with nature and unwind. While it all sounds exciting, there are several ways you can be mindful of the impact you have on the environment and how you could possibly reduce it.

It is always a great idea to travel to parks using public transportation or via biking. This reduces the amount of carbon footprint significantly and is one of the most sustainable options available for transportation. Follow a ‘leave no trace’ principle where in you pick out all the trash before leaving the area. This is not only environment-friendly but also ensures the habitats and wildlife around are safe.

Another great idea would be to volunteer with conservation organisations during your visit as they are actively involved in the protection of several natural areas. It is indeed a great way of giving back to society while ensuring you take a conscious step towards sustainability.

  •  Sustainable Eating Alternatives

When it comes to eating, certain sustainable caterers have made a sincere and active attempt in offering, not just high-quality food but also to incorporate forward-thinking sustainability practices. Such social pantries run on the concept of zero waste as they are part of community-led initiatives.

What’s more, this approach is a great way to support local communities and actively reduce food waste in the process. Social pantries prioritise sourcing local, sustainable and organic food with the aim of reducing waste.

As a conscious traveller, you can resort to reusable utensils and containers while avoiding the use of single-use plastics. Additionally, there are several community-led organisations that actively take donations for non-perishable food items and toiletries. At the end of the trip, you can reach out to these organisations and help in spreading the word too.

This is certainly the best way to serve the community.

  •  Staying At An Eco-friendly Accommodation

The hospitality industry has taken a keen interest in sustainability and now offers several accommodation alternatives that cater to responsible travellers. In fact, one can consider giving a solar-heated hotel a try for their holidays. Travellers are often seen choosing B&B accommodations that offer home-grown produce or built campsites using compost.

There are several conservation projects in the UK that offer eco-friendly cottages and electric charge points. These projects primarily focus on conserving energy, preventing historic buildings and actively looking for ways to protect wildlife habitats around them.

If that sounds interesting to you then the government-aided webpage National Trust can help you form a better decision while scouting for eco-friendly cottages.

  •  Try Out Eco-Friendly Attractions

We are blessed to be surrounded by nature and its abundance is certainly a work of art. The UK  is packed with breathtaking coast paths and endless mountain ranges that are home to a variety of wildlife and species. Not to forget that these places are often the best way to truly immerse yourself in nature and outdoor adventure.

The tranquil waterways offer a great opportunity to paddle or swim for water enthusiasts. The Scottish Highlands and West Sussex are home to a vast area of land that offers luscious greenery and a pleasant climate. While you are at your planning stage, do make sure to include the North Coast 500 in your itinerary as this beauty will leave you awestruck!

The Eden Project situated in Cornwall is home to the largest biomes that showcase the vastness of natural beauty. These are well-known as centres that encourage sustainable development. In fact, Eden Project is also known as the world’s largest indoor rainforest! Interesting isn’t it?

If you are a fan of such natural beauty then you must add this one to your list of places!

  • Conscious Shopping

The most exciting part of any trip for many travellers is shopping and packing for essentials. Avoid wastage by keeping small and regular-sized bottles at home and refill them when you head for a new trip.

While planning a trip, we often first think of updating our wardrobe and consider buying clothes that are best suited for the climate we are heading to. Avoid falling into the trap of the fast-fashion industry which often ends up contributing to greenhouse emissions and an increase in plastic generation. The road to sustainability can be walked by making a conscious choice in investing in eco-friendly apparel companies.

We all enjoy shopping for collectables or buying local items that remind us of our trip. A brilliant idea is to buy from local community-led projects and businesses that usually use home-grown ingredients and eco-friendly materials. Perhaps you can give a farmer’s market a shot or even look for traditional handicrafts and independent shops that can help you pick a great gift for your loved ones!

To Sum It Up

Planning a sustainable day out doesn’t need to be hectic at all!

With proper planning and collective steps, you can easily chalk out your next trip. Make a conscious decision to support the environment and local communities. Maybe visiting open spaces or tickling your adventure bone seems like the next best idea for your trip. Or perhaps you are looking for something quieter and more blissful as you relax in the arms of nature.

There is something for everyone and by keeping the above-mentioned tips in mind, you can attempt to reduce the impact on the environment and support the well-being of local communities. After all, mindful and sustainable actions of the present can ensure a safe future for all.

*This is a collaborative post. For further information please refer to my disclosure page.

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