Plan a local eco-getaway this summer to reduce airplane travel
Mile for mile, flying is the most damaging way to travel for the climate. Reducing airplane travel is one of the most impactful ways we can reduce our greenhouse gas emissions. Avoiding just one, 10-hour flight per year prevents 5.5 tons of greenhouse gas emissions from entering the atmosphere per person – that’s more than twice the emissions produced by a family car in a year! This summer, trade one airplane vacation for a local eco-getaway instead and do your part to combat climate change.
Reducing airplane travel is one of the most impactful ways to reduce greenhouse gas emissions
In 2019, global airplane travel contributed 905 million metric tons of greenhouse gasses into the atmosphere making it one of the highest contributors to climate change. And the emissions from planes are continuing to increase.
Though improved fuel efficiency means fewer greenhouse gas emissions per traveler, the number of total travelers is on the rise, according to the International Air Transport Association. The number of airplane passengers is expected to double in the next 20 years, further contributing to the rapid increase in emissions from planes.
Choosing alternative modes of travel and limiting the number of airplane trips we take are important actions we can take to significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to climate change.
Make your next vacation local
Reduce your climate impact by taking a vacation close to home rather than an airplane trip away. Minnesota offers a wealth and variety of vacation destinations and family getaways that are easily accessible and don’t contribute as heavily to greenhouse gas emissions caused by airline travel.
Because reducing the distance we drive is also a key action we can take to combat climate change, many eco-getaways are easily accessible on bike trails, public transit, or by using a park and ride. You could even consider carpooling when finding ways to explore nature near you!
Even without going somewhere far away, there are plenty of new places to discover and things to learn in our own state.
Explore climate change solutions
Our local museums, nature centers, zoos, and aquariums offer a wealth of enriching summer fun for the whole family. Taking the opportunity to learn about solutions to climate change is inspiring for kids and adults alike.
Find inspiration and discover something new:
- Learn about Minnesota’s natural history at the Bell Museum.
- Discover a passion for innovation, science, and technology at the Bakken Museum.
- Visit a zoo or aquarium and learn how climate change impacts our local wildlife.
- Nature Centers and outdoor nature play areas are great avenues to connect with our local climate and learn more about nature all around us.
- Visit a library! Our Hennepin County libraries also offer a wealth of books to help introduce your kids to climate change. If you don’t have a library card, apply here.
Celebrate local food and events
Minnesota’s summer festivals and markets span a wide variety of topics from arts and crafts to locally grown produce and vintage sales. Supporting local farmers and purchasing local goods helps reduce the impact on climate change caused by transportation.
For directories of local events, visit:
- Choose to Reuse for a listing of garage sales, flea markets, vintage sales, clothing swaps and more.
- Minnesota Grown for a directory of farmers markets.
- Explore Minnesota for an in-depth listing of events and festivals throughout Minnesota, including arts and theater events, fairs, history and heritage events, and live music.
- Meet Minneapolis for a summer guide to art fairs and festivals.
Explore nature near you
You don’t have to go far in Minnesota to discover a new wild place. Many hikes and trails are easily accessible from a nearby bike trail or a short drive. Before splurging on a vacation far from home or over an ocean, consider all the beauty there is to discover near where you live.
For ideas for your next adventure, visit:
- Minnesota Department of Natural Resources for outdoor recreation activities including boating, camping, fishing, horseback riding, and more.
- Plan your next water voyage with the interactive water trail map.
- Read Explore Minnesota’s article about Minnesota’s best hikes according to black conservationist, Dudley Edmondson.
- Search AllTrails to find a hike near you.
Bring your reusable water bottle and remember these tips to keep your child’s summer low-waste while you’re out and about.
Rent your adventure gear
With so many opportunities to get outside, it’s unlikely you’ll have all the gear you need to try everything. Instead of purchasing brand new gear for a one-time excursion or for a child who may grow out of it, find places to rent your adventure gear instead! Avoiding purchasing new items also lessens the impact on climate change caused by manufacturing and transporting those new items.
Find ways to explore all the county has to offer without spending too much on new gear:
- Learn where to rent paddling gear, camping equipment, bikes, and sporting goods near you.
- Get on the water with canoe, kayak, and paddleboard rentals.
- Rent a watercraft at a state park.
- Find more things to rent to fully enjoy the summer at Choose to Reuse.
Remember, some of the most memorable gifts aren’t tangible. Focus on giving experiences instead!
Find your Zen place
Just as there are numerous ways to enjoy an active vacation here in Minnesota, there are plenty of ways to have a peaceful getaway as well.
- Pitch a tent in your backyard and spend time under the stars on a cool summer night.
- Participate in wildlife viewing or get involved in wildlife surveys.
- Join like-minded bird enthusiasts and experience Minnesota’s diverse bird species at an upcoming birding event.
- Take a day trip to find hidden attractions, waterfalls that are off the beaten path, and more sight-seeing excursions.
- Learn about Anishinaabe and Lakota heritage at museums and historic sites.
Other resources and guides for your next eco-getaway
There are too many vacation spots near to home to discover in one summer. Make a list of places you want to visit next and check out these local resources to help you find your next adventure.