À la carte products, nature walks and more sustainable summer activities

Published May 27|Updated June 1

Pinellas County

Have fun in the sun and help create a cleaner shoreline with Pinellas Baskets for the beaches initiative. Bright yellow baskets sprinkled along Fort De Soto, Fred Howard and Sand Key Parks making it easier than ever for beachgoers to pick up their trash (or any surrounding trash, for that matter) after a day spent by the sea. Bonus point: the more trash you pick up, the less likely you are to get attacked by a flock of bloodthirsty seagulls. They know you know they’re willing to risk it all to grab a single stale fries buried in a fast food bag. Yellow baskets, to the rescue! pinellascounty.org/park/beach-basket.htm

If you’re looking to secure luxury overnight accommodation that’s also eco-friendly, make sure the hotel you choose is part of the Florida Department of Environmental Protection’s Florida Green Lodging Program. Establishments that carry this designation are committed to conservation by emphasizing the creation of environmentally responsible practices in their daily operations. Local Florida Green Lodging hotels include the Sheraton Sand Key Hotel and the Sandpearl Resort, both on Clearwater Beach, and the pastel pink castle that is The Don Caesar on St. Pete’s Beach. Not traveling here? Fear not: there are more than 300 properties in the state that are designated Florida Green Lodgings. floridadep.gov/osi/green-lodging

Pasco County

If you’re looking for an immersive outdoor challenge that puts you deep in the forest, visit Dade City’s TreeHoppers Aerial Adventure Park. TreeHoppers offers nine different climbing courses that use ziplines, bridges and ladders to give participants an exciting trek through the treetops. Little climbers aged 1-6 have their own miniature course for an exciting expedition they’re sure to enjoy. Tree Hoppers is a fun alternative to visiting a theme park, which typically features attractions that contribute to air pollution. treehoppers.com

Paddle through beautiful natural landscapes on a guided ecotour led by the team of Salty Dog Kayak Rental in Port Richey. Enjoy a two-hour private tour as you glide through the waters of Werner-Boyce Salt Springs State Park. All tours are led by a professional naturalist, who will introduce you to the history of the park and its surroundings. Animal lovers are in luck: you might encounter a creature or two on your journey. saltydogkayakrentals.com

Hillsborough County

For a lasting stay, spend a day at the spa at home with the help of Lufka Zero Waste Shop. Lüfka is Tampa’s first refillable store, offering eco-friendly and artisanal products such as face masks, body butters and scented bath bombs. The company has storefronts in Seminole Heights, South Tampa and Wesley Chapel. lufka.com

Make your world a better place with Keep Tampa Bay Beautiful, an environmentally conscious program dedicated to caring for Tampa Bay’s natural ecosystems through service projects and special events. Volunteer with the organization this summer to clean up your community, one litter at a time. keeptampabaybeautiful.org

Hernando County

Enjoy a trip to Brooksville Bramble Creek Farms, 12 sprawling acres with spaces for visitors to pick their own blackberries, passion fruit and figs. The farm also sells natural products like goat’s milk soap, homemade jam and honey made in Florida. bramblecreekfarms.com

A short drive is Sweetfields Farm. Inspired by the owners’ passion for sustainability, Sweetfields sells locally grown organic produce for customers to choose and purchase. Delicious homemade offerings include butternut squash, cucumbers, watermelon, zucchini and more. sweetfieldsfarm.com

If you’re looking to get off the grid, take a restorative walk in the woods. Connecting with and preserving the natural world is what Brooksville is all about. Chinsegut Wildlife and Environmental Areaa peaceful reserve with multiple trails that offer miles of marshes and uplands to explore across its Big Pine Plots and Conservation Center. If you’re lucky, you might spot a slow-moving gopher turtle or a scampering deer. To learn more about Florida’s wildlife and ecosystems, visit the Chinsegut Conservation Center and participate in one of its information programs. myfwc.com/recreation/lead/chinsegut/

Monroe County

Nothing will delight your inner child more than the Key West Butterfly and Nature Conservancy, where living butterflies fly freely and are more likely than not to land on your shoulder for a quick hello. The conservatory is as educational as it is enchanting and gives visitors an insight into all things butterfly. keywestbutterfly.com

Keep the keys clean: If you are in Big Pine Key, register in the Conch Republic Marine Army, a non-profit organization that preserves the Florida Keys mangroves through volunteer weekly cleanups. The collective mission and workforce of The Conch have made a difference: the organization has cleaned up over 400,000 pounds of litter to date. conchrepublicmarinearmy.org

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