Eco Friendly Summer Holiday

Maximising Sustainability during Summer Break Activities

School is out which means lots of fun family days out. Summer is a great time to get creative and find exciting activities whilst reducing your carbon footprint and getting your kids engaged in nature.

Here is a quick list of ideas of how you can make the most of summer holiday in an environmentally friendly way:


Beach Clean Ups

Double up a fun trip to the beach (ideally travelled to by public transport) with educating about environmental issues and helping to improve the environment for humans and wildlife alike.

You can take part in organised group events or organise your own by searching online for local events run by companies such as the Marine Conservation Society and SAS.

Alternatively, you can simply spend some time cleaning up as a family or a group, ensuring that you come prepared, before or after your time spent playing on the beach. All you'll need are gloves, litter pickers and bin bags.

Remember to use lots of (eco-friendly) sun cream to protect you and the ocean.

Don't have a beach near you or not a fan of the sand? Then no problem - you can take your clean up party to the park / woods / lake / wherever there is rubbish.


Upcycling Arts and Crafts

    Upcycling is great fun for the kids and perfect for art projects and games.

    The aim is to turn old things into something new and better. There are plenty of ideas out there online to take inspiration from, but here are a few of our favourites:

  • Giving plain or old photo frames new life with shells (collected on your beach clean) / paint / old buttons
  • Cardboard is great with some paint - to create trains / giraffes / binoculars or even marble runs with toilet paper roll or turning egg cartons into helicopters / animal noses or plant pots for seedlings
  • Weaving patterns with old magazine strips
  • Indoor bowling with plastic bottles or outdoor with tin cans - you can even paint them for added fun

    Get inventive with what you have for easy, cheap and creative activities.


    Cycle Rides

    Whether you have your own bikes or hire them for the day, cycling is an easy family activity that helps you to explore natural areas and towns in an environmentally friendly way.

    Here are a couple links to help you plan your cycles in the UK and Europe:

    • Sustrans has created a map showing all UK cycle paths
    • Eurovelo has information on 17 long distance cycle routes which could be incorporated into a cycling holiday.

    Not only do cycling and walking have no carbon emissions associated with them but they are also great for improving health and well-being and most importantly are good fun for the entire family! 

    The UK and Europe have extensive public footpaths (short and long distance) that can be used on your holiday or even to get about day to.
    Certain attractions - such as the Eden Project - even offer discounts if you arrive by bike, walking or public transport.


    Nature Reserves 

    Plan an exploration party to a nature reserve!

    There are plenty of nature reserves with amazing plants, insects and animals waiting to be discovered. Many even have additional facilities to keep children entertained with great visiting centres, kits for self guided activities, play areas and events to help you engage as much as possible with the environment.

    Check online for your nearby sites and for any upcoming events.

    You can even go for a last minute mini break in or nearby the reserves. The National Trust in the UK has their own tool to help with this, with special offers for last minute bookings.

    You could even make it a camping trip for added sustainability. Camping is a great low carbon accommodation. There is a wide range of choices of campsites in the UK, Europe and the World you can choose from (e.g. see Eurocamp). If traditional camping is a bit too basic for you, 'glamping' - a more luxurious camping option may be more up your street.

    Such locations often have cycle and walking routes in close proximity so you can keep your transportation low carbon too!  


    Berry Picking 

    Berries are in season so why not go on a family berry picking trip.

    If you know your berries (make sure you really know your berries) then you can pick them for free from your nearest woodland or alternatively you can go for a local berry picking farm.

    There are lots of different types of berries to pick from so you can mix up your pickings to experiment with what is everyone's favourite.

    You can use your prize pickings to make tasty snacks which you could have in a picnic.

    Check online for berry picking farms near year (and see if you can get there by bike or public transport) for a fun and sustainable day out.


    Garden Projects

    Your garden is a wildlife adventure waiting to be discovered.

    Again there are so many different ways that you can create fun, educational and engaging projects (whilst also helping to support wildlife) in the garden, but here is a quick list of suggestions:

  • Make a bee hotel with leftover cardboard and sticks or wood
  • Create a mini pond
  • Make a bird feeder using cardboard or old plastic bottles
  • Make the garden hedgehog friendly / make a hedgehog hotel
  • Plant lavender to harvest to make homemade smellies/perfumes
  • Grow your own vegetables project
  • Take part in the Big Butterfly Count as endorsed by David Attenborough
  • Plant bee friendly plants
  • Make a bird house
  • Make daisy chains / make art with leaves / decorate rocks to place round the garden

  • Other Useful Tips

  • Take lots of water with you in reusable water bottles and use websites and apps such as find a fountain to find places to refill
  • Check out and support attractions with environmental incentives/programmes such as theme parks with half price entry in return for deposited plastic bottles
  • Check electrical appliances are switched off (and not standby) before you leave the house
  • Refuse single use plastic when out and about
  • Always try to use public transport where possible
  • Take a look at our Weekly Tips for more advice on how to be more sustainable in day to day life.

    Calculate and Offset your Carbon Footprint