We all need to get away sometimes, but it’s not always practical, and it’s also not currently advisable due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Luckily, it’s still possible for you to take some time to unwind and relax this summer—all while maintaining a safe social distance from others and without having to venture too far from home.

How, you ask? A good old fashioned staycation! And one that keeps the planet in mind, of course. Although, since you’re staying in place, a staycation is almost always more eco-friendly than traveling. By vacationing at home or in your local area, you’re eliminating the aspect of travel that’s causing the most harm to the environment: carbon emissions. Beyond fuel, since you’re spending the night in your own home, you’ll help cut down on water usage from daily linen changes at hotels. 

Some of our favorite staycation ideas can all fit into a day or even a couple of hours, so that you can either take a personal day to spend on yourself or choose a few of these ideas for a longer at-home vacation the whole family can enjoy. Check them out below!


1. Pitch a Tent for Some Backyard Camping


There’s nothing quite like a night spent under the stars to relax, unplugged from your electronics (therefore saving energy), and reconnecting with Mother Nature! If you have a backyard, you can still enjoy the great outdoors, even though you may not be able to travel for an exotic wilderness camping trip.


2. Go Hiking


Get some fresh air and exercise by putting on your hiking boots and heading to a hiking trail near you. After spending some time outside, you’re certain to feel rejuvenated and refreshed! Find a trail near you. 


3. Tackle an Upcycling Project


Arts and crafts are a great way to get a creative relief. Plus, this is an activity in which the whole family can participate. Search your house for old items you’ve been meaning to get rid of and transform them into something useful. Good Housekeeping has some great ideas to get your creative juices flowing.


4. Experiment with New Recipes from Scratch


A staycation gives you the perfect excuse to cook new recipes you typically don’t have time to prepare. This is one of the best ways to create a more sustainable household since you’ll automatically reduce a lot of waste that’s typically associated with packaging. 

Pay a visit to your local farmer’s market to pick up fresh, organic produce (or place an order for pick-up if you don’t feel comfortable walking through the market yourself because of the pandemic), and then give your new recipe a try. 

Eat Well Guide allows you to use your zip code to find farms, markets, and other sources of local, sustainable food. Shopping local for ingredients is crucial. On average food travels 1,500 miles before reaching your plate, so just imagine how much time, fuel, and energy that wastes! Try some of these recipe ideas that are both eco-friendly and economical. 


5. Create a home garden


Home gardens don’t have to be complicated, and you can even reap the benefits of gardening if you don’t have much (or any) outdoor space at home. You can easily start a small mason jar garden in your kitchen if you lack outdoor space altogether. If you have a balcony, you might want to consider building a container garden, and if you’re fortunate enough to have a backyard, opt for planting a full-blown garden.

Home gardens are a fun staycation activity the entire family can participate in. Gardening also provides you the ideal opportunity to teach your children about sustainability and allows you to cut back on carbon emissions by starting to grow your own food.


6. Indulge in a Little Self-Care


Self-care can be anything you need that helps you feel more connected and happy with yourself, which in turn allows you to show up more sustainably for the planet. Self-care looks different to each individual, so allow yourself to enjoy whatever it means to you! Take a bath, go for a hike, have an at-home spa day, move your body, meditate, the possibilities are endless.


7. Start Working Towards a Reduced-Waste Home


Take the time during your staycation to take inventory of what you have in each room that may not be eco-friendly (for example, plastic toothbrushes in the bathroom) and see if you can change it to a low waste alternative (a toothbrush that is either recyclable or created from recycled materials).


8. Have a Travel-Themed Staycation


Choose a destination and plan activities you can do at home that you’d likely do in that location. For example, you can start learning a new language, watch movies filmed in that region, or read a book written about a character in that region.

Don’t let the pandemic keep you from having a fun time this summer. As we’ve hopefully demonstrated above, there are plenty of activities to choose from that don’t require you to leave home (or venture too far). Enjoy the places and the people that are already around you! Staycations are a wonderful opportunity for you to explore your own backyard, reconnect with nature, support your community and economy, spend quality time with your family, take care of yourself and work towards creating a more eco-focused and sustainable lifestyle.

If you’re curious about other ways you can contribute to a brighter future for our planet, be sure to stay tuned on our blog, and learn more about Kiwi Energy’s innovative energy and natural gas solutions, the Ecogold Environmental Fund, and our Ecogold Rewards.