When we travel, we think about responsible tourism and how can we contribute to reducing our impact on a destination. But what happens when we stay local? 

Wouldn’t it be awesome to know about some eco-friendly activities we could do locally? Imagine living the most unique experiences regardless of where you live

Because the truth is that you don’t need to travel to live some epic adventures. In this post, we are going to share with you 10 remarkable and eco friendly activities you can do anywhere in the world to have lots of fun

This page may content affiliate links. Click here to read our disclosure

Responsible tourism

It is important to start with a definition of what is responsible tourism.

Responsible Tourism is about making better places for people to live in and better places for people to visit. It requires that operators, hoteliers, governments, local people, and tourists take responsibility, take action to make tourism more sustainable.

In addition, responsible tourism is any form of tourism that can be consumed in a more responsible way.

So these would be the principles to take into account when performing the eco friendly activities listed in this post.

Finally, you can check this post to learn more about sustainable travel. 

What are eco friendly activities?2020-05-24T16:10:54+02:00

Eco friendly activities are those experiences that go hand-in-hand with an ethical and eco-friendly lifestyle.

They are based decisions that benefit the planet and its peoples, as well as yourself.


10 eco friendly activities you can do anywhere

So now we have learned about responsible tourism, it is time to focus on the experiences.

The great thing about the experiences on this list is that you can do most of them from home. They are easy, local and most of the cases, very cheap.

01. Local hike

girl on top of a mountain after hiking, a eco friendly acitivity

Hiking in a national park

I cannot think about an easier and cheapest way to live a quick adventure.

Hiking can be such a rewarding experience and it is an amazing way to reconnect with nature. No matter where you live, you can always try to find something not too far where to go for a hike.

It does not need to be a 6 hours hike. It can be 30 minutes, 3, 6 hours, or whatever you feel comfortable with. 

It is a different thing to do to break up with the routine and is a great way to live an adventure just next door.

Even when we travel, we always look for nice hikes because it is a great way to get to know a place while exercising a bit at the same time.

Where to start?

The aim of this local hiking experience is to find a route close to where you live. It could be any kind of hike, and you don’t need to finish the whole route if you can’t or if you don’t have the time. Just do your best, and set your goal.

Simply focus on enjoying the journey, the views, and relax as you walk.

As you can see, you don’t need much for this experience other than some trainers or hiking shoes.

When traveling, some recommended hikes are:

  • Landmannalaugar, Iceland. Enjoy a day tour to the Southern Highland of Fjallabak to visit Iceland’s Landmannalaugar and Hekla Volcano area. Hike through Laugahraun, Vondugil Canyon and Brennisteinsalda, before relaxing in a natural hot spring.
  • Trolltunga, Norway. This trek is perfect for those who want to spend as much time as possible at Trolltunga. Be there when the sun sets and have some time alone looking down at the majestic valley.
  • Arenal Volcano, Costa Rica. Hike through the Arenal Volcano National Park, a biological reserve of a tropical rainforest and visit the stunning La Fortuna waterfall.

02. Sustainable cooking

sustainable cooking experience

Sustainable cooking in Khao Sok

Sustainable cooking is a double enjoyable sustainable experience. First cooking, then eating!

Sustainable cooking is a way of preparing a meal in a way it benefits one’s health, environment, and ultimately, the whole planet.

It is not a secret that what we buy and what we eat can have an impact on the environment. By changing the products we buy and how we cook them, we can reduce the impact, but also have a healthier diet.

Moreover, preparing a sustainable meal will make a very rewarding experience and will push you to try new things and recipes you probably have not tried before.

Where to start?

It will start with the products we buy. Food from local farms and breeders is always a better choice than imported food in stores.

A good starting point could be checking these 22 sustainable recipes for some inspiration. That way you’ll know what you need.

It is recommendable to eat less meat and more plants, especially seasonable fruits and vegetables. Meat production is the main reason for greenhouse gas emissions, and adding more green foods to one’s diet reduces freshwater withdrawals and deforestation.

Once you have all you need, is time to make your magic. It is not only a great experience but also a very practical one since you’ll have some delicious meal ready.

You can also learn with this Virtual Cooking Class with a Professional Chef

03. Mountain biking

mountain biking is a great eco friendly activity

Mountain biking in Lanzarote

Riding a bike through a city is a good way to explore the city and is perfect to cover greater areas. But what about exploring a mountain, natural park, or even the woods with a mountain bike?

This is a great experience, and you won’t only be enjoying nature as you venture into the woods, but you also remove all the hassle of riding the bike in any city, which can be sometimes far from relaxing or safe experience.

When we go to Cadiz for a few days, we love riding the bike through the woods. It is quiet, pretty, and a great way of exercising at the same time. 

Where to start?

If you own a bike, you have half the work done. A mountain bike is preferable though for this experience outside urban areas.

If you don’t own a mountain bike is fine. There are many places where to rent them and it is likely there is one just nearby your place. And in some cases, you can even rent a bike directly in a natural park or any other interesting areas to explore.

Once you have identified where to rent a bike, the next step is to find a route. The easiest would be checking on Google Maps for a green area and head there.

Finally, when you are in the area you’d like to explore, forget about the maps. Simply follow the most appealing paths, create your own route, and don’t forget to enjoy the ride.

When traveling, some amazing places to explore by bike are:

04. Public transportation road trip

sustainable travel using the local bus

Local bus in Bangkok

This experience can be done using the most convenient public transportation where you live.

A road trip makes an amazing adventure. On this occasion, it will be different from a traditional road trip. The stops might not be as flexible as to when you drive, but it is a different way to live and adventure.

With a public transportation road trip, you won’t only help the planet but also your pocket. It is a cool and efficient way to cover more ground. It is especially easy these days where you can find all the information about the route, timetables, and all directly on your phone.

Where to start?

First, decide where you’d like to go. Then use Google maps to build your route with public transport.

The trick is to plan a little bit the itinerary. That way you’ll be able to plan which train/bus to take and when.

Besides, it could be good fun and a different way of visiting your country.

05. Exercise outdoors

doing push ups in a beach in Zanzibar

Doing push-ups on a beach in Zanzibar

Gyms are boring. It is always the same. Same machines, same people, and of course the same place.

But there are many different ways you can easily spice things up and turn a boring day at the gym into a fun experience outdoors.

Where to start?

While jogging in the park is the obvious one, we are going to give you some more ideas:

  • TRX training. The TRX is a form of suspension training that uses bodyweight exercises to develop strength, balance, flexibility, and core stability simultaneously. It only requires a TRX system which can be easily found online and is not expensive. We use this method, especially when the weather is good. We just take our TRX to the park and we anchor it to a tree. Easy, effective, and different.
  • Find a local park with equipment.
  • Join a CrossFit or yoga session in a park
  • Use an app to train outdoors. Some good apps for this are Freeletics or Fiit

Go out there and try something different!

06. Join a sustainable tour

eco friendly activities with responsible tour agency

Tour in a national park in Thailand

There are dozens of tour operators and companies out there promoting sustainable tours. But Intrepid Travel is pretty good at responsible travels.

They have trips and experiences all around the world. They even have them categorized by themes. That way you can find what you want easily and even been inspired by new eco friendly activities

Where to start?

You just need to go to Intrepid Travel, browse by destination or theme, and choose your favorite.

You’ll find adventure trips, family trips, Lonely Planet Experiences, and more.

This might not be as fast and cheap as the rest of the list. But it sure has way more buzz than any other!

07. Go Kayaking/ Paddle boarding

paddle boarding in the Philippines. A sustainable experience

Paddle boarding at sunset in the Philippines

Wherever you live, chances are you have the sea, a river or a lake nearby.

Don’t let your lazy human mind to prevent you from creating exciting opportunities and look for options.

We think that kayaking is really underrated. When you explore a place, there are not many different ways of going off the beaten track, but kayaking is one of them.

It allows you to explore places you could not access otherwise and see things from a different point of view.

For example, let’s say you go somewhere where it is high season. Then you find a beach or a river, and rent a kayak for a few hours. If you explore around for a bit, chances are, even in the most crowdest places, you can find a beautiful spot just for yourself.

And there is even more. You can also go kayak fishing! This is definitively more expensive to do since you will need to rent all the material if you don’t own it