Beat the Dog Days of Summer With These Eco-Friendly Romantic Getaways
April might be the cruelest month, but August can be the worst. Summer is winding down, children are being assaulted with taunting “back to school” commercials, putting a damper on their fun, and even adults stagger under the remembered weight of summer’s end and the humidity. It’s a lazy time, and we don’t feel good about being lazy, especially when thinking about everything we had wanted to do this summer before life got in the way.
But August doesn’t have to be that way! There’s still time to celebrate the freedom and beauty of summer, especially with that certain someone. Here are some ways to have eco-friendly romantic getaways, ranging from wallet-friendly to extravagant budget-busters. You’ll be generating heat more than escaping it, but somehow we don’t think you’ll mind.
The Harmony Hotel, Costa Rica
The problem with a lot of tropical destinations is that your destination is usually a walled-off compound, where you are insulated from nature and the country you’re visiting. Not so at the Harmony Hotel, which prides itself on being sustainable and natural – to the point where howler monkeys and other native fauna roam the land. It’s not just the commingling or the access to the pristine beaches that make this an ideal romantic getaway for nature lovers – the Harmony is fully committed to an eco-friendly lifestyle, which includes everything from bamboo straws, to solar panels for water heating, to using recycled waste-water to treat their gardens (dual-life water is one of the best ways to preserve our most important resource). Harmony shows other hotels that you don’t need to recreate paradise when it is all around you. So create your own little slice of heaven on your romantic escape.
Let’s go a little closer to home and a little more budget-conscious, as well. Camping is a great way to get in touch with nature, but we sometimes do it wrong. The saying with nature is that we should take nothing but pictures, and leave nothing but footprints. But when a lot of us go camping we generate tons of garbage – bottles and cans, food wrappers, etc. It doesn’t have to be that way. When you and your romantic getaway partner go to one of America’s over 7000 state parks, take some steps to make sure that you are being green and eco-friendly. Pack your food in advance in a cooler, rather than buying it near the site and generating trash. Bring trash bags to take home with you, where you can recycle. Never bring in wood for your fire – find it at the campsite (otherwise, you could bring with it invasive species). If you take these simple steps, you won’t have anything to worry about when you’re sitting around the fire, sipping wine and mirroring the smoldering embers.
This one can be a little more tricky, but worth it – often, literally. Staying at home negates the pollution of travel and allows you to completely control your environment. If you have a place to yourselves, or can make sure you have one for just the two of you (possibly from shipping off the kids) take advantage of it. Remember that some chores and responsibilities can be put off. We allow ourselves not to think about things when we’re on vacation, but never give ourselves the luxury of that at home. It’s much easier than you think. Pick out movies in advance so you aren’t scrolling through Netflix for hours (first-world problem). Go to the store so you have everything you need. Create a romantic atmosphere with Eko Miko candles. Let your imaginations be in charge.
Remember, there is plenty of time for the real world. September and its changing leaves will soon be a blustery intruder. But don’t worry about that yet. Remember, you can be red from excitement, and still be green.
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