Fun and Sustainable Outdoor Activities
Fun outdoor activities range in spectrum from a mild day outdoors to a cardio filled day of extreme sports. If you are looking for a nice way to spend a day outdoors during any season while social distancing, keep reading below to discover the fun outdoor activities we recommend which can be done solo and for a low or no price.
These outdoor activities are all activities which can be done in a sustainable way without exerting much effort to do so. Many people assume that a sustainable activity is an activity which must have much effort put into doing so. This is not necessarily the case. Using the fun outdoor activities listed below, one can see how each activity is sustainable and ways to make them even more eco-friendly.
Take a picnic
Taking a picnic is a fun outdoor activity which can be done both alone as in during the Covid-19 restrictions, or in a group. Picnicking carries no cost, barring the cost of the accompanying food items and can be done practically anywhere. In a world covered in public parks, public beaches, forested areas, national parks and nature preserves make finding a picnic destination a fun event due to the plethora of options!
Picnicking is an activity in which everything needed is brought along, and all waste is packed up and returned with the picnickers for proper disposal. When picnicking, one does not have plans to disturb the natural environment, but rather to enjoy it from a safe distance while enjoying the day. Picnicking can be even more sustainable by using reusable items, or biodegradable tableware items such as bamboo plates and flatware. Please refrain from pouring out liquids or leftover foods into the grass while packing up.
Bicycling is a great way to get out into the fresh air and explore one’s surroundings! Bicycling as an activity is not only a form of exercise which works the entire body but it is also an alternative form of transportation for getting oneself to nearby destinations which provides enjoyment and the ability to take in the views.
Bicycling is a sustainable activity as it does not generate any harmful emissions or noise pollutions. It is a clean way to travel and contributes to the overall well being of the cycler. Click here to read more about bicycling as a sustainable activity.
While taking a swim is usually considered only a summer activity, if you live in proximity to a fresh or saltwater body of water, consider taking the plunge. The act of swimming in itself is a high level cardiovascular activity which works to tone the entire body as well as providing good coordination practice. Mentally speaking, just getting out into the water has a relaxing, yet refreshing feeling of accomplishment and satisfaction. Some people even take a short swim in winter waters, but that is not for the faint of heart!
Please exercise caution when taking a swim. Swim only in locations where swimming is allowed, such as public access beaches, never swim after alcohol consumption and respect any posted warning signs. Shallow waters and waters which contain large rocks are a real danger for diving. Be aware of the wildlife present in the area. Animals such as alligators or crocodiles, biting or parasitic fish do exist in waters around the globe so it is advisable to have a working understanding of the local environment. Also, some waters may have a strong current which can be very dangerous, but is often underestimated. These reasons are why precaution signage exists, so please do pay attention before jumping into the water.
Swimming is a sustainable activity, as swimming is an activity which keeps the disturbance of wildlife at a minimum while offering the swimmer a refreshing day of full body exercise in a pristine natural environment.
Stand up paddle boarding
Once thought to be an activity only for highly athletic people residing in the tropics, paddle boarding is also coming mainstream. Many people are now able to find the option for paddleboarding in fresh water areas, just as one once was able to take out a canoe or rowboat, one can now take out a kayak or paddle board.
Paddle boarding, also known as SUP (stand up paddle surfing) is sustainable in that the paddle boarder does not disturb the wildlife, but instead works hard to keep the balance and afloat while enjoying the views mother nature has to offer. “Leave only footprints, keep only memories.”
Trekking in itself is a fun outdoor activity which carries zero cost and both physical and mental benefits. Trekking is an activity which can really be done anywhere. Nature areas abound, even on the outskirts of large cities. Inner city trekking is possible in nature parks and nature preserve areas, of which there are many which are located in city centres. Taking a nature hike in nature preserve or biosphere areas can be even more educational with the utilisation of a local nature guide or ranger who can share information about the history, the wildlife and the local culture of the area. These actions can help to make trekking, which is already a sustainable outdoor activity, even more sustainable. Learn more about the benefits of trekking.
Running is another fun outdoor activity which can basically be done wherever one lives. City marathons are a sport in themselves and running through a wooded or natural area is a delight of scenery and fresh air. Really all the participant needs is a pair of running shoes, a good set of lungs and a desire to run!
The act of running, as an activity, fits very well into sustainability. Runners are rarely seen with any object other than those items which are used for measuring health or the length of the run. Runners typically do not generate rubbish, as there is no way of carrying those items. One can make running a more sustainable activity however, by utilising public water sources, such as water fountains, as opposed to purchasing and disposing of – single use plastic items such as water bottles.
Ziplining is an outdoor activity which is seeing increased popularity as more and more people venture out for guided nature tours. Ziplining should only be done under the supervision of a professional person who is trained in all the safety measures required for a smooth ziplining experience.
Zipline is sustainable because the person ziplining actually has no possibility of disturbing the nature. The entire idea behind ziplining is to view nature from a distance and enjoy.
Snorkeling and scuba diving
Snorkeling and scuba diving is something that can be enjoyed by all. While scuba diving may require a diving license, snorkeling is an activity which can be enjoyed by all, especially when utilising the services of a local ranger. The undersea world is a place full of knowledge about the world and interesting ecosystems. The ability to coexist with this marine life without disturbing it and while learning as much as possible from local guides, makes this great underwater activity fully sustainable. Some destinations even go so far as to offer coral planting possibilities to divers, in order to help preserve the marine ecosystems. It is advised to please take the initiative to use only coral reef safe sunscreens.
Camping is a sustainable activity for the outdoors and is a practical way for one to learn about nature. Camping is the fun outdoor activity which comes to many people’s minds when considering spending time in nature, as this long-enjoyed activity is something that many individuals may have spent their youths enjoying. One may think of expensive equipment that is perceived as necessary for camping, but this is not necessarily the case. What one needs for camping is a desire to be outdoors, to learn to live with nature and what one needs to survive. Many countries offer camping cabins gratis in the national park nature areas. These cabins can be frequently spotted while on a nature hike in the areas.Read more about safe camping here.
Camping is a sustainable activity when conducted in a manner which acts to preserve nature and not to cause damage. Following proper safety recommendations, disposing of rubbish properly and taking care to use reusable products and not to disturb the nature, the camper is enjoying fully the pristine environment which envelopes them.
Not for the faint of heart, rafting is an excellent way to change one’s land-based perspective. Rafting allows for the possibilities of looking up from deep canyons, as opposed to down from the land. Rafting can be challenging, and dangerous and it is always advisable to utilise the services of a local ranger with experience in rafting the area. This activity is sustainable, eco-friendly and both contributes to the local community as well as offering a nature education for the rafter via utilising the specialised services of a local ranger who can help to navigate as well as practice safety regulations and guidelines, can educate the rafters as the history of the waters and local areas and in some cases, even teach about basic survival methods such as fires for keeping warm and how to navigate rushing rivers.
Just hanging out
Just spending a relaxing time by oneself may just be one of the most underestimated yet more frequently utilised of all the fun outdoor activities. Just spending time sitting and enjoying the outdoors is sustainable in that one is enjoying the view and the nature without physically disturbing anything in an attempt to interact with nature. Viewing from a distance is always a preferred way of doing things when working to be more sustainable. Sitting in the grass or on a terrace, watching people or watching birds…just being in the fresh air and enjoying the nature is in itself an outdoor activity. Relax and enjoy!
From all of these activities, it is possible to participate in at least one moment outdoors having fun, enjoying nature and all it has to offer, even during this time of restrictions.
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