Cautious optimism for many as the vaccine rollout proceeds means that many people’s minds are turning to summer days out. Whether or not your world is opening up again now, you might be looking forward to getting out a little more as summer progresses. But it is important to think about where you go and what exactly you do. It is important to ask yourself whether you are making the most sustainable choices.
Choosing a sustainable summer day out means thinking about where you go and how you get there. It involves thinking about what you take with you. And of course it means making sure that you do not leave anything behind. As local, sustainable businesses struggle to recoup after the losses of the last year, a sustainable day out might involve supporting them too, as well as caring for the environment and considering carbon cost.
Of course, nature always provides plenty of opportunity for summer days out. Time spent on a beautiful beach, in a tranquil woodland or hiking in the hills, for example, can always be a wonderful way to refresh yourself and unwind.
Walking, cycling, kayaking or canoeing, or just enjoying a picnic in a lovely spot, can open up your horizons. And if you are looking for something more dramatic, an active outward bound pursuit like wild swimming (with caution of course, and in an appropriate spot), river rafting, or climbing could be interesting options to consider.
If you want to spend time in natural beauty spots, however, one thing to remember if you want to minimise negative impact is that while you yourself might not cause any harm, sheer numbers can take their toll. Try to think outside the box and avoid honey pot destinations which become crowded in summer in favour of quieter spots.
If you are in need of a little more human company (following regulations of course, and using common sense), remember to seek out opportunities for days out which are truly sustainable.
Support farmers and growers, for example, by heading to a farm experience or ‘pick your own’ site. Find a sustainably managed museum or gallery or other visitor attraction. Visit local gardens to gain inspiration for your own… these are just a few sustainable ideas for days out this summer.