Are you planning a staycation in Los Angeles? If so, we’ve compiled a list of sustainable activities you can do in the city – without having to worry about your carbon footprint.
A staycation is a holiday spent in one’s home country, rather than traveling long distances to other destinations. During a staycation, you may visit local attractions and pursue other fun activities in your area.
Some people prefer to stay at home, while others prefer to stay in a hotel so they can really feel like they’re experiencing an authentic holiday. Both can be done sustainably — and even better, you won’t need to worry about a passport, visa, or expensive flight costs.
Why Should You Choose a Staycation?
Since 2019, staycations have risen in popularity. Perhaps you are now considering the idea of a staycation yourself, but are wondering how you can do so sustainably.
Here are a few reasons why taking a staycation in Los Angeles is a great idea:
- Environmental benefits: In 2019, worldwide air travel emitted around 915 million tons of CO2 into the atmosphere. If you choose to take a staycation, you may feel better knowing that your holiday is emitting fewer carbon emissions than if you chose to fly to another destination.
- Less fuel: Choosing a staycation in Los Angeles means you will cut down on fuel from holiday destinations that you would have otherwise driven to. When fuel is burned, it releases harmful byproducts like CO2, nitrogen dioxide, carbon monoxide, sulfur dioxide, hydrocarbons, benzene, and formaldehyde into the atmosphere. These all contribute to the warming of the planet.
- Impact on energy consumption: If you choose to stay at home rather than at a hotel, you could potentially save on energy consumption. Hotels use AC and heating to keep rooms at required temperatures, as well as regularly washing linens and bedding – all things that increase energy consumption.
- Less single-use waste: A lot of hotels use single-use products in their rooms, which ends up creating a lot of waste per room. This single-use waste may up in landfills which could then have the potential to pollute our oceans. If you opt to take a staycation using your own home, less single-use waste could be produced.
- Cheaper: Planning a staycation in Los Angeles means you can cut down on hefty travel expenses, saving yourself potentially thousands of dollars. You’ll also be cutting down on accommodation costs if you choose to stay at home.
1. Take an Electric Bike Ride Through the Mountains
An electric bike ride is the perfect sustainable activity for those who love to keep fit. You can take an electric bike ride through the Verdugo Mountains of Los Angeles, where you will be given the opportunity to witness stunning views of the Angeles National Forest. In addition, you will also get to enjoy picture-perfect views of Downtown LA, the ocean, and the surrounding mountain ranges.
2. Visit Burgerlords
This highly-rated vegan burger restaurant is not one you want to miss out on if you’re a burger lover. Burgerlords has two separate restaurants based in Los Angeles:
- The Chinatown restaurant (943 N. Broadway #102)
- The Highland Park restaurant (110 N. Ave 56)
Burgerlords’ much-loved vegan cheeseburgers are made with mushrooms, eggplant, cashews, barley, garbanzo beans, celery, leeks, and their very own personal spice blend. You can also get a side of shoestring fries and tofu nuggets.
3. Visit the Getty Center
If you are feeling artistic, then visiting the Getty Center in Los Angeles could be a great addition to add to your staycation itinerary. It is located in the neighborhood of Brentwood and stands out due to its unique architecture.
The Getty Center features drawings, sculptures, manuscripts, and European paintings that date back to before the twentieth century. If you want to travel sustainably to the center, perhaps you could carpool with your friends or family, or alternatively, you could take a direct bus line.
To do so, you can take the Metro Bus 734 on weekdays. For weekends, you can take the Metro Bus 234. You can access these buses via the Metro Expo Line Sepulveda station. This way, you can also avoid parking fees.
If you choose to bike to the Getty Center, parking for cyclists is free. The bike racks are located at the entry-level of the parking lot by the elevators.
4. Hike to the Hollywood Sign
As you’ll be on foot, this is a super sustainable activity to add to your to-do list. You can hike to the sign via Mt. Lee Drive, which is the shortest and quickest route. If you choose this route, you can expect to see stunning views across Griffith Park and much of the city itself. You’ll even get a view of the coast, too.
However, if you are looking for a more natural-feeling route with fewer tourists, you might want to try an alternative route. These routes are longer compared to taking the Mt. Lee Drive trail.
- Canyon Drive Trail: This trail spans a total of six miles and has plenty of parking available at the trailhead.
- Lake Hollywood Drive Trail: If you want to take a shorter hike, this trail is only three miles long.
It is important that you check parking rules for whichever trail you decide to take, as the location and parking times may vary for each. All the more reason to walk, cycle or take public transportation instead.
5. Visit the Los Angeles Eco-Village
The Los Angeles Eco-Village is ideal for individuals who want to see what eco-friendly living can be like in reality. Tours are offered around the village so you can get a firsthand look at sustainable living in LA.
Their Eco-Homes have many green features such as composts, food gardens, photovoltaics, a graywater system, and solar hot water, among many more sustainable features.
The Los Angeles Eco-Village is located within a two to fifteen-minute walk of several bus lines and two metro B subway stops. Their main offices are located at 117 Bimini Place and 3554 W. 1st Street. Tours and events meet at 3554 W. First Street on the corner of Bimini Place. Guests can enter through the chain-link gate.
6. Create a Home Spa
This is another great option to add to your staycation list in Los Angeles, and even better, you can do this from the comfort of your own home.
Mix it up and have some fun by creating easy and sustainable home treatments that you can craft yourself, such as creating some DIY peel-off face masks using natural ingredients. Using DIY face masks can help to improve a variety of different complexions – some can help with oily skin, and others will give skin that summer ‘glow’.
Before using your face masks, you can take a bath using some homemade bath salts. Creating bath salts yourself means you can be sure of the ingredients that are in your final product. For example, some of the natural ingredients could be flowers and oils.
The steam from the bath can help to open up the pores in your skin and loosen any buildup of dirt. This can help the face masks to clean more deeply and can make blackheads easier to remove.
If you want to make your bath routine even more sustainable, you could swap out your plastic loofah for an original one. A natural loofah doesn’t collect as much bacteria as a plastic loofah, and since it is made from organic materials, it won’t be releasing any microplastics into the environment. If that wasn’t convincing enough, natural loofahs are also biodegradable, meaning they don’t have to be sent to landfills.
7. Take a Trip to the Beach
There are several beaches located in Los Angeles that would be a great choice for your staycation. Here are some of the top-rated beaches you can choose from:
- Santa Monica Beach
- Malibu Beach
- Venice Beach
- Hermosa Beach
- Country Line Beach
- Huntington Beach
If you’re looking for a beach with a more relaxed atmosphere, then Malibu Beach could be a good option. There are quite a few beaches to pick from in the Malibu area, and Nicholas Canyon Beach may be perfect if you want to avoid tourists.
The following beaches are reachable via public transport:
- Santa Monica Beach: You can reach the Santa Monica Pier via the 33 Bus. The beach is located around the pier.
- Malibu Beach: You can reach Malibu beach by bus or tram and bus. You can take the tram and line 534 bus.
- Venice Beach: You can take the 33 bus for routes that pass nearby the beach.
- Hermosa Beach: This beach is also accessible via bus.
- Huntington Beach: Again, you can take the 33 bus to get to Huntington Beach.
It is important to remember that time and cost will vary depending on the starting location of your journey, so make sure to plan your route ahead of time. You may also have to use the tram for some parts of your journey, which still counts as public transport.
8. Go Shopping at a Sustainable Fashion Store
Another great option for your Los Angeles staycation is to visit some sustainable fashion stores. A lot of sustainable fashion stores use upcycled clothes with low-impact materials.
Here are some sustainable fashion stores that you could visit during your vacation:
- Whimsy and Row: This store sells versatile and trendy clothing, which is made in Los Angeles using locally-sourced and upcycled materials.
- Tact and Stone: Tact & Stone is a modern and sustainable fashion store for men. Again, the company uses low-impact materials. As an extra bonus, you can even send your used garment back to the store and they will upcycle it for you, giving you a discount on your next purchase.
- Suay Sew Shop: This store is a vertical sewing and production shop, remaking garments and other home goods such as pillows and pillow covers from upcycled and waste materials.
- Pistol Lake: Pistol Lake is a fashion store for men that creates clothes using recycled materials.
- Rewilder: This store offers everyday wear from 100% recycled materials. They even make unisex bags.
Sustainable Travel While You’re in Los Angeles
During your staycation in Los Angeles, you may want to consider using the following sustainable transportation options:
- Carpooling: Grouping up with friends or family in one vehicle can help to reduce the number of vehicles on the road, as well as help reduce fuel costs for everyone involved.
- Rent a bike: Renting a bike for your staycation is by far the healthiest and most sustainable way to get around. This is because using a bike will not produce any CO2 emissions or harmful pollutants. However, it is probably best to plan your routes beforehand, as Los Angeles is known for its high traffic levels. While it is a busy city, there are some dedicated bike riding routes that you’ll be able to use. If you’re nervous, you can always stick to riding along the beach.
- LA Metro bus fleet: In 2021, the LA Metro converted its entire bus fleet to be powered by alternative fuel. The fuel is a sustainable, low-carbon fuel that is made from organic waste. It benefits the environment by lowering the amount of CO2 released into the atmosphere. If you don’t feel like cycling, walking, or driving, then this is your next best alternative. Other methods of LA public transportation are also available, which can help you navigate around the city.
- Walking: Although it may already be obvious, walking as a means of transport is highly beneficial for both you and the environment. As an individual, you won’t be releasing any CO2 emissions into the atmosphere during your commute, and you may even boost your fitness levels. However, if that isn’t convincing enough, research has also suggested that there could be several health benefits to walking – so this is a great option to keep in mind.
- Sustainable Travel: The 7 Best State Parks in New York
- Staycation Ideas: 6 Ways to Enjoy a Relaxing Vacation at Home
- Los Angeles Bucket List: 10 Eco-Friendly Things to Do
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