Summer break is a time of freedom, fun, and endless possibilities. It’s a chance to recharge, explore new horizons, and create memories that last a lifetime. But in our quest for excitement, I’d like to also remind everyone to think about the impact our actions can have on the planet. Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to have an amazing summer break while still being mindful of our environment. So, let’s dive into some eco-friendly adventures that will not only nourish your soul but also leave a positive mark on the world around you!

Explore Nature Responsibly

Instead of jetting off to far-flung destinations, why not embrace the beauty of your own backyard? Take a hike in a nearby park, go camping under the stars, or spend a day picking up litter in your own neighborhood. Connecting with nature not only rejuvenates your spirit but also fosters a deeper appreciation for the environment.

Choose Sustainable Travel Options

If you do decide to travel, opt for eco-friendly transportation whenever possible. Take a train or bus instead of flying, or carpool with friends to reduce your carbon footprint. And once you reach your destination, explore on foot or by bike and immerse yourself in the local scene.

Support Local Businesses

Summer break is the perfect time to explore the vibrant culture and flavors of your own community. Visit farmers’ markets, dine at locally-owned restaurants, and shop for handmade goods at artisan markets. Not only does this support small businesses, but it also reduces the environmental impact of transporting goods over long distances.

Embrace Sustainable Eating

Take advantage of the abundance of fresh fruits and vegetables available during the summer months by incorporating more plant-based meals into your diet. Not only is this good for your health, but it also reduces the carbon footprint associated with meat production. You could even start your own garden. And don’t forget to compost food scraps to minimize waste!

Reduce Energy Use

Set your air conditioning to 74 degrees or higher when you are home, and even higher when you’ll be out of town or away for a few hours. Use natural light when possible instead of lights. Hang laundry outside to dry in the sun rather than using the dryer. 

Update Your Purchasing Practices

Use what you already have for as long as possible, instead of constantly going for an upgrade. That goes for clothes, electronics, furniture, etc. And when you do need something new, consider buying used items from a local thrift shop or from Facebook Marketplace, Craigslist, etc. If you can’t find a used version and need to buy something new, think about buying from companies that incorporate sustainability in their business practices. 

Practice Leave No Trace Principles

Whether you’re hiking in the mountains or lounging on the beach, always follow the principles of “Leave No Trace.” Pack out all of your trash, respect wildlife and natural habitats, and leave the environment better than you found it. By treading lightly on the earth, you can ensure that future generations can enjoy the same pristine landscapes that you do.

Get Involved in Conservation Projects

Make your summer break meaningful by volunteering with local conservation organizations. Whether you’re planting trees, restoring habitats, or participating in beach cleanups, every small action makes a difference. Plus, you’ll meet like-minded individuals, gain valuable skills, and build your resume along the way.

Practice Mindfulness in Everyday Life

Last, but not least, remember that sustainability isn’t just about the actions we take, but also our mindset. Take time each day to reflect on your connection to the earth and the impact of your choices. Practice gratitude for the beauty of nature and strive to live in harmony with the world around you.

Curious about what Miami has been doing in terms of sustainability? Check out this page!

Also, should you wish to join any organizations or clubs in this field when you get back to school, check out the Hub!

On a final note, remember that every choice you make has the power to shape the world around you. By embracing sustainability, supporting local communities, and fostering a deep connection to nature, you not only enrich your own experiences but also leave a positive legacy for future generations. So, let this summer be a time of joy, exploration, and conscious living! 

Chi Truong | Class of 2026

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