Published: March 4, 2024

person looking at mountains from car windowYou can make sustainable choices this spring break that help you save money, protect the environment and live with intention. The Environmental Center at CU Boulder supports students by promoting sustainability in all aspects of life. Here are tips you can follow for a sustainable spring break. 

Choose sustainable transportation options 

Flying is often the quickest way to reach your destination, but flying has higher carbon emissions than most transportation options. Consider other ways to travel, like taking a bus or train or carpooling with friends. If flying is unavoidable, try to book a non-stop flight because takeoffs and landings use most of the emissions involved with flying. When traveling from Boulder to Denver International Airport, try taking a shuttle, carshare or RTD SkyRide bus. When you reach your destination, you can also choose more sustainable transportation, which helps reduce carbon emissions and saves money on rental cars or ride-sharing. 

Consider eco-friendly accommodations 

Where you stay over spring break can promote sustainability. Camping is a great way to travel on a budget, and you use less water and electricity than in a hotel or vacation rental. Many popular tourist destinations have campsites available nearby. Outdoor Pursuits offers camping equipment rentals. You can also choose hotels that prioritize sustainability by implementing eco-friendly practices. Before booking lodging, ask about LEED or other sustainable certifications or initiatives. 

Pack responsibly 

How you pack can impact your sustainability during travel. Consider using the 1-2-3-4-5-6 packing method to lighten your load, where the idea is to pack one hat, two pairs of shoes, three bottoms, four shirts, five socks and six pairs of underwear. Try to pack reusable items with minimal packaging to produce less waste. You can pack a reusable water bottle, utensils and shopping bags. Eco-friendly toiletries also reduce single-use plastic waste. Consider packing shampoo and conditioner bars, toothpaste capsules, reef-safe sunscreen and reusable period products. Small actions can make a big impact! 

Support local businesses 

When you shop locally while traveling, you cut out complex supply chains and honor the local culture and citizens. You can choose restaurants that use locally sourced ingredients and buy souvenirs from local artisans. You can also participate in eco-friendly activities like taking a guided hike, visiting national parks or taking a snorkeling lesson. Just remember to dispose of waste properly, avoid littering and avoid disturbing the natural habitat. 

Make it a staycation 

One of the best ways to reduce your carbon footprint is to stay in Boulder and have local adventures. Boulder and the surrounding communities offer many ways to explore the outdoors, enjoy cultural events, support local businesses and save money on expensive travel. You can check out ways to have a low-key spring break

Learn more about sustainability 

The Environmental Center helps students find ways to get involved in sustainability at any level. You can join the Sustainable Buffs Community, look for student jobs, complete micro-credential programs, attend events and more.