How to Travel Green in Greater St. Cloud

Happy Earth Day ! The sun is shining in Central MN and as we’re coming out of hibernation, we have one thing on the brain: Summer travel plans! It’s easy to forget your usual green and healthy practices when you’re on vacation, so we are here to help with some tips for traveling in the Greater St. Cloud area – or anywhere, for that matter! Read up, make plans, and we can’t wait to see you here!

Bike it like you mean it.

Central MN is a bronze-level Bike Friendly Community, which means we try our best to make the area easily navigable by bike. With many trails, sidewalks, signage and rental options, the best way to see the town in an environmentally friendly way is from a bike seat!

Take the bus, otherwise.

If you can’t bike (like when it’s below zero for half the year 😉 ) we would love if you took advantage of our local bus system! Metro Bus has a convenient trip planner available on their website to make it as simple as possible for you. Plus, over half of their fleet is comprised of compressed natural gas (CNG) busses, which reduce emissions and are a much greener alternative to their gasoline counterparts.

Poppin’ bottle. Just one.

When you’re on the go, you may sometimes forget to pack something to drink, which can lead to purchasing plastic disposable drink containers from convenience store. Before you end up spending money, time and waste on those, remember to pack a reusable water bottle for your travels! As it turns out, we just so happen to have them available for purchase if you forget. Check it out here!

Shop local products, eat local grub.

When you buy locally produced products, you’re not only supporting the local economy, but those products were not shipped in from out of state or overseas – which means they have smaller carbon footprint. Trust us when we say: our farmers markets are the freshest!

Remember the basics.

This may seem like the obvious choice, but sometimes when we’re on the go we unconsciously throw our recyclables in the trash instead of the recycle bin. If you’re staying at a hotel, make sure to ask if they have recycling options. If not, you could bring your recyclables home with you.

Take the path most traveled, actually.

When taking advantage of the many natural parks and trails that the Greater St. Cloud area has to offer, please try to stay on the marked trails as much as you can – it helps the native vegetation flourish! Plus, always be conscious of disposing your trash and respect the animals and wildlife along the way. And if you’re really feeling generous, bring along a small trash bag in case you run into debris along the way (hopefully not, but you never know!).

Water, water everywhere…

Keep water conservation in the back of your mind during your hotel stay. Reuse your towels more than once if possible. Take showers (not baths) and keep them shorter if possible. Consider whether you really need to use hotel laundry services or not, as they often only wash one guests clothes per load. We know our Mississippi water here is pretty great, but we promise there’s plenty to go around!

Productive exploration!

Hitting the trails in Greater St. Cloud? Grab a garbage bag for the road just in case you come across any debris on your adventures! We all do our best to eliminate garbage and waste in our beautiful areas, but sometimes accidents and mishaps happen. Do some feel-good hiking and pick up any trash you might come across. Plus, this is always a fun way to teach kids about taking responsibility for our actions in the environment!

Shop Used

If you’re in the mood to do a little shopping, consider checking out one of our local thrift or repurposed stores. Buying secondhand clothes, furniture, accessories and more is a sustainable way to get the goods you need. When you purchase items that already exists, less resources are needed. Plus, it prolongs the life of products, which means they don’t end up in landfills as soon – or ever! Plus, we’ve made it easy, check out this list of local thrift stores!

Adapted from Travel Channel and Green Global Travel