With coronavirus causing so much uncertainty about foreign travel, many Brits are looking to make the most of what the UK has to offer this summer with a ‘staycation.’ Not only could this be a much-needed boost for local businesses and attractions, cutting your carbon footprint by staying closer to home is also a winner for the planet.
Whether your holiday this year means simply staying at home without working, or exploring somewhere near where you live, here’s our top tips for how to have a sustainable staycation in 2020:
Having a ‘staycation’ doesn’t have to mean sleeping at home. For some extra adventure, try packing a tent and heading for a local campsite or – if you’re not so keen on sleeping under canvas – a caravan park. Campsites and caravan parks have been given the ok to accept bookings for this summer as long as they have social distancing measures in place.
There are also options for a quirkier camping experience where you sleep in a yurt, shepherd’s hut or even a treehouse. To keep your green credentials even cleaner, opt for an ‘eco-campsite,’ which will have environmentally-friendly facilities.
With a campfire, games and outdoor fun for children, most people will stay on site during a camping trip.. so why not cut the car travel and keep your carbon footprint down by heading somewhere close to home.
Treat yourself to going out when you staycation – just like you might do if you were on holiday elsewhere. With pubs, cafes and restaurants in England able to welcome customers inside soon for the first time since lockdown began in March, going out to eat will feel like a slice of luxury.
Research some restaurants in your area that are opening up again and look for those that feature local food and chefs. This is a great way to support local restaurants while also doing something you might not do on a regular work day.
Most people end up buying a few items while on holiday, and your staycation doesn’t have to be any different. If shopping is what you like to do on your time off, research and visit local artisans and businesses in your area. This is a great way to support those who may have struggled during lockdown while finding a unique item from your own city or town.
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Visit a park, forest or other outdoor attraction during your staycation. To keep things interesting, don’t go to the places you’d normally visit; try something different. Getting outdoors will help rejuvenate your spirit, increase your fitness levels and likely save money too, as most parks are free to visit.
Pack a picnic lunch and make a day of it. If you’re in an area near a lake, river or the sea, consider renting a kayak or canoe, or trying out surfing or body boarding for a fun, zero-emissions activity. Or if you have a bike, try cycling instead of driving to nearby destinations.
Get to know where you live
Sometimes you can live in a city or town your entire life, or a large chunk or it, and never experience a local attraction. Although many places are likely to have to remain closed this summer due to coronavirus, zoos and gardens have been able to reopen (and desperately need your support) and more are putting social distancing measures in place in preparation to hopefully welcome visitors again soon.
Most people will buy new clothes before a holiday and with a week or two to yourself, staying at or near home doesn’t mean you won’t want to look and feel good. Choose a sustainable fashion brand to minimise your impact on the planet.
The app Giki Badges can help you shop smarter at the supermarket, and the new eco-planner Giki Zero can show you exactly how big the carbon footprint of your holiday is along with tips for reducing it. The app Good On You enables you to easily choose fashion brands that have a positive impact on people, the planet and animals.
Farm to fork
A staycation is a great time to cook new recipes that you normally don’t have time to prepare. Stop by your local farmer’s market to pick up produce, and try your hand (and perhaps get your family or partner involved too) at a new recipe. Buy food straight from the farmer using Bigbarn, which has an interactive map that connects you with farmers near to you.