While you may have year-round goals for being an eco-conscious consumer (such as recycling or riding your bike whenever possible), spring is a good time to consider some new routes for being eco-friendly. From vacationing at an environmentally friendly destination to devoting time each week to get off the grid, renew your commitment to a green lifestyle with these considerations.
Look into ecotourism
Ecotourism destinations are vacation spots that promote environmental responsibility. Specifically, these destinations are distinguished by emphasis on conservation, education, traveler responsibility and active community participation.
Not only do these destinations offer eco-friendly accommodations, there are often rules for travelers to follow to help preserve the beautiful natural wonders for years to come. For example, resorts may require eco-friendly sunscreens that are biodegradable and safe for coral reef exploring. What’s more, many ecotourism destinations recycle tourism revenue into preserving and conserving natural environments.
Consider staying at an Earthship, which is a type of passive solar house made of both natural and upcycled materials, such as earth-packed tires.
Search destinations around the world that are certified by The International Ecotourism Society, which promotes responsible travel to natural areas that conserve the environment and improve the well-being of local people.
Be an environmental ambassador. Learn how to be more eco-friendly with small actions throughout the day.
Observe an eco-Sabbath
Set aside one hour every week to get completely off the grid. Not only will you be removing any personal environmental impact for that hour, but you can also use that time for meditation and relaxation. And who couldn't use more of that? During your eco-Sabbath:
- don't use any devices or machines
- don’t buy anything
- don’t switch on anything electric
- don’t answer your phone
- don’t use any resources
When it’s time to spring clean your closet, a general rule of thumb is to donate clothes you haven’t worn within the last 12 months. To quickly see which clothes you're not wearing, turn all your hangers around. Every time you wear a piece of clothing, return it to the closet with the hanger turned the other way. Any clothes that remain on un-turned hangers after a year should be donated. Many communities offer drive-up donation bins or locations for textiles that are unusable, and nearly 100 percent of all used clothing and household textiles can be re-used or recycled, according to the SMART (Secondary Materials and Recycled Textiles) Association. Forty-five percent of these textiles are re-used as apparel; 30 percent are converted into industrial polishing or wiping cloths; and 20 percent are processed into fiber to be manufactured into new products.