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Planning a summer getaway? Travel the sustainable way!

Posted by Jennifer Lewis on

Living in Canada, we often feel like winter will never end. But being eternal optimists, your friends at Urban Spa know warmer, sunnier, snow-free days are ahead. That means it’s time to start planning for summer getaways and putting our sustainable travel skills to the test. Not sure where to begin? From modes of transportation to eco-friendly travel destinations to sustainable packing tips, we’ve got you covered.


Traveling far? Group transportation is a greener option


If you’re looking to travel in the most sustainable way—and walking or cycling to your destination isn’t an option—group transportation is best. Traveling by train or bus requires less fuel per traveler and emits lower average CO2 emissions per passenger mile. This allows you to significantly reduce your carbon footprint compared to traveling by air or car.


Hop a train and see the country


Want to experience all of the nature and splendor that Canada or the U.S. has to offer? Consider booking a cross-country train trip for summer getaways. Fresh Tracks Canada specializes in creating personalized travel experiences for their clients and can create an itinerary with your eco-friendly travel goals in mind. Live in the U.S.? Check out the variety of leisurely train excursions that Amtrak offers, like Amtrak’s Maple Leaf service between Toronto and New York City, among others.


Grab the gang, rent a bus and settle in at an eco-friendly resort or campground


Canada and the U.S. are bursting with historic fishing resorts and campgrounds, making for ideal summer getaways. Seeing themselves as stewards of Mother Nature’s beautiful lakes, rivers and forests, many resort owners are taking steps to become more environmentally responsible, and some have even earned sustainability certifications.


For example, Elmhirst’s Resort located on Rice Lake in Keene, Ontario earned Sustainable Tourism’s Gold Certification for its sustainable business practices. Other eco-friendly resorts, like Severn Lodge at Port Severn, Ontario, are very transparent about their green initiatives, posting their practices on the resort’s website.


Tip: Eco-friendly resorts aren’t shy about posting sustainability initiatives on their websites. If you struggle to find a resort’s eco-friendly practices online, consider other options.


Get away close to home at an eco-friendly hotel, spa or resort


Staycations allow you to rein in your carbon footprint by minimizing CO2 impact and allowing for more sustainable travel. Start your research for accommodations by searching for eco-friendly hotels, spas and resorts online. Once you find a few interesting options, visit websites to learn more about each location’s green practices, certifications and amenities, such as:


  • Sourcing of vegetables, meat, dairy, wine and other supplies locally (or onsite).
  • Availability of environmentally friendly activities (bicycle trails, walking tours, canoeing, kayaking, yoga and art classes, etc.).
  • Detailed descriptions of recycling practices observed.
  • Commitment to energy-saving practices (lighting, solar power, tankless water heaters, laundry, etc.).
  • Use of natural, eco-friendly products and recyclable containers in cleaning supplies, as well as body and hair care products.


Live near (or traveling to) California, Colorado, Hawaii or Oregon in the U.S.? Check out SCP Hotels. Their “environmentally-friendly” properties plant a tree for each guest who stays with them.


Pack light and sustainably!

If we all packed one less bag (or at least a smaller suitcase) just think about how much less fuel we’d collectively waste during travel. You can also pack light (and sustainably) by using travel-sized personal products in containers that can be reused and recycled.


Better yet, snap up one of Urban Spa’s Travel Kits here! The kit includes a chlorine-free plastic pouch and reusable, recyclable clear plastic containers, perfectly suited to hold travel-size amounts of your favorite natural hair care and beauty products.


Cheers to a sustainable summer!


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