As more and more of us look for ways to reduce our impact on the environment, taking steps to ensure leisure activities make less of a toll on the planet is becoming increasingly important to today’s travellers. From restaurants and hotels to tour providers and agri-tourism destinations, travel partners across Ontario’s Southwest are embracing the challenge of making operational changes today for a brighter tomorrow. Here are just a few of the ways you can make your next trip to Ontario’s Southwest a brighter shade of green.
Enjoy A Meal At A Restaurant with Feast On Certification
Feast On is a certification that recognizes businesses that are committed to sourcing (and celebrating) food and drink that is Ontario grown. On average, menus at these restaurants consist of 54% Ontario-grown food. Dine at these restaurants and taste for yourself just how fresh and delicious food with a substantially smaller carbon footprint can taste!
Catch Some Eco-Certified ZZZs
As you research places to stay, watch for hotels that belong to the Green Key Global program. Green Key Global is a leading environmental certification body with a suite of industry standard programs and resources designed specifically for the lodging and meetings industries. Members are provided with a comprehensive guide on how to reduce their utility consumption, waste, and emissions. Green Key-certified options in Ontario’s Southwest include:
Have Fun Trying Greener Ways To Travel
Not everyone can afford an electric vehicle yet, but there are other great ways to get from Point A to Point B with a lighter environmental impact.
- Travelling as part of a larger tour group doesn’t just reduce your carbon footprint, it’s also a great way to meet new people and have a lot of fun. Ride The Bine’s group tours in Norfolk, London, Huron-Lambton, and Chatham-Kent are an excellent way to get whisked around to a selection of wineries, breweries and cideries. Most of their vehicles have eight seats, but they do have a 12-seat vehicle available for tours in Norfolk County.
- Cycling tours are another excellent way to tour Ontario’s Southwest without carbon emissions. WindsorEats offers craft beer tours, winery tours and tours of downtown Windsor by bike. They also have a fun new electric scooter tour that showcases Windsor’s amazing street art scene.
Show A Little Extra Love To Places That Are Investing In Sustainability
Making better choices for the environment can sometimes come with a higher price tag. In Ontario’s Southwest, there are examples around every corner of decision-makers who are putting their money where their mouth is when it comes to doing the right thing for the planet.
- Meuse Brewing has transitioned a former irrigation pond into a native wetland surrounded by tallgrass prairie, planted a pollinator hedge row and has a free-range flock of chickens that snack on spent grain from the brewing process.
- Rather than tear down old tobacco kilns, Burning Kiln Winery has repurposed them to create award-winning Appassimento-style wines.
- Anderson Craft Ales is investing in carbon capture technology to reuse the CO generated from its brewing process.
- Apple Hill Lavender embraces environmental stewardship efforts in its growing and manufacturing practices.
- Jarful Refillery has built its entire business around reducing single-use plastics and wasteful packaging.
- Our beaches and marinas that have earned Blue Flag status work hard to meet 33 criteria related to environmental education, water quality, environmental management and safety.
Photo courtesy of the Jarful Local Refillery Facebook page.
Sign the Ontario's Southwest Responsible Travel Pledge
Bring Your EV Along For The Ride
Don’t let the fact that you may be racking up a few extra miles deter you from setting out in your electric vehicle. A growing network of EV charging stations throughout Ontario’s Southwest makes it easy to top up your charge on your travels. Even smaller, rural businesses, like Heeman’s and New Limburg Brewery, are investing in electric vehicle chargers. Use the PlugShare website to find convenient places to charge on your next trip.
Enjoy Activities That Remind You Why Protecting Our Planet Is So Important
There’s nothing like a moment of pure Mother Earth awe to recharge your enthusiasm for your own sustainability efforts. Ontario’s Southwest offers endless inspiration. Here are just a few ideas.
- Long Point Eco-Adventure’s Honeybee Apiary Tour allows guests to spend a day in the life of a beekeeper and learn all about the vital role bees play in the area’s ecosystem.
- Ottercreek Woodworks’ From Tree To Table experience takes guests on a Carolinian Forest hike to discover the woodland through the senses of smell, taste, touch and sight before creating their own live-edge charcuterie board.
- Udderly Ridiculous Farm Life’s A Taste of Farm Life experience invites guests to tune into the sights, sounds, tastes and smells of farm life and farm-to-table food production.
- Walnut Grove Bed and Breakfast’s two-hour The Buzz About Pollinators experience offers a leisurely guided stroll through the property’s five-acre meadow to watch the busy bees at work and the chance to decorate your own bee bowl or bee house to take home.
Looking for even more unique ways to escape the city for a local getaway? Browse our collection of experiences and itineraries that have been specially crafted for adventurous souls craving the kind of connection that can only be found off the beaten path.