While on spring break

With UR being on spring break this week, and many of us traveling across the country (and even world), it is easy to forget how to be sustainable. From beach littering to using single-use plastics (like red solo cups), spring break can have a significant environmental impact. Fortunately, there are several ways to make your spring break more green. 

Respect Nature:

If you are spending time at the beach, woods, etc. make sure to be respectful to the natural environment and do not litter. Follow the rule “Leave it cleaner than you found it” and leave no trace. Do not disturb the wildlife and do not feed the wildlife (especially feeding seagulls bread or any grain). Lastly, if you are entering a body of water, use ocean-friendly sunscreen  Common sunscreens contain chemicals like oxybenzone and octinoxate, which are harmful for coral reefs and sea life; switch to reef-friendly/ocean-friendly sunscreens like “Blue Lizard”—which has been reef-friendly for 20 years, sensitive-skin-friendly, and no.1 pediatrician recommended (highly recommend this sunscreen). 

Contribute to local economies:

When thinking about being green, inequities must also be taken into account. If you are traveling to coastal cities, rather than staying at a resort all break and contributing to franchises, support local businesses and economies. Supporting local businesses: boost the local economy who may depend on tourism for their livelihoods, produce authentic and greater quality products you cannot get anywhere else, helps preserve local culture, and reduces environmental impacts as local businesses often have small carbon footprints. 

Use reusable products:

Instead of using single-use plastics, bring reusable kitchenware with you. Bring a reusable water bottle, reusable straws, and containers with you on your trips. 

Use public transportation: 

Instead of renting a car or getting Ubers, use public transportation to get around to your destinations. If you are unavailable to access public transportation, try carpooling to your destination. The more people riding in one mode of transportation, the less people contributing to carbon emissions. 

Participate in Sustainable Activities:

Lastly, choose activities that are environmentally friendly and emit low emissions. For instance, go hiking, swimming, biking, or exploring a new area around town. Stay outside and reduce your water and electricity consumption during your break and sunbathe. 

By making these small changes during your spring break, you can have an eco-conscious break that is entertaining, relaxing, and sustainable. Remember to leave no trace wherever you go and ditch single-use plastics. A little goes a long way, enjoy your break!


Written by Lugardo Marroquin ‘24

Image by Lorri Lang from Pixabay