With summer comes new opportunities to take adventures. While we are often tempted to fly to exotic far away places, we on the Joro team are thinking about what it means to indulge in new experiences while being mindful of our impact on the planet, on our wallets, and on our own health.
In our new “Mindful Adventuring: 36 Hours in” series, we share exciting ways to explore cities around the world in a way that is good for us and good for the planet.
The first city we explore is Joro’s own backyard: Boston, Massachusetts. Check out what we recommend and us drop a comment to share your ideas for mindful adventuring!
Carbon footprint: ~20 kg CO2e/day
Tips for Mindful Adventuring
Enjoy the great outdoors. Being outside is free, doesn’t create any greenhouse gas emissions, and is good for our health and well-being. It doesn’t get any better than that! Think about ways that you can structure new adventures around spending time outside.
Take advantage of walking and biking. If you are able, use walking and biking tours to explore your city – or any new city – up close. Many cities offer excellent guided tours. Plus you’ll get your steps in, too!
Navigate public transport like a local. Public transit is often the best way to access must-see sights without having to worry about parking. Plus, it’s easy on your wallet and allows you to see the city in a whole new way.
Plan ahead for food. Research ahead to find great local restaurants with vegetarian or non-red meat options (see our recent blog post on sustainable eating for tips). Listen for seasonal specials to pick something extra tasty and sustainable.
Opt for home sharing over hotels. Homes tend to use less energy, water, and resources per person than hotels do, both according to Airbnb and external researchers.
Boston is the ultimate student city. Begin your adventure on the Cambridge side of the river with a free walking tour of Harvard, the oldest university in the country. Student-led tours leave every hour from 11 am to 3 pm from the Smith Campus Center and take you through Harvard Yard. If you’re lucky, there might be a live art exhibit inviting your interaction. This one-hour tour will get you moving while absorbing local history. Our only recommendation is that you do not rub the shoes of John Harvard’s statue for good luck.
After you finish your tour, explore Harvard Square, which maintains a mix of classic shops and new emerging eateries. Try out Clover Food Labs for an afternoon snack – a Harvard/MIT born fast-casual restaurant that experiments with an ever-changing menu of farm-fresh (and inconspicuously vegetarian) options. The Chickpea Fritter Platter is always a great option – and the Impossible Meatball Sandwich does not disappoint.
Boston sports teams are the heart and soul of the city. In 2018, the Red Sox announced 100% of Fenway energy consumption for 2018 and 2019 will be offset with Green-e certified energy certificates (RECs), making Fenway the greenest stadium to enjoy a game. Fenway also boasts a rooftop garden where vegetables are grown throughout the summer season. While sports events are usually carbon producers, watching a game at Fenway is a unique opportunity to produce less carbon, enjoy baseball, and sing Sweet Caroline in the eighth inning. They don’t call it the Green Monster for nothing.
Kickoff your Saturday with Seaport Sweat, a free workout series in Boston’s up and coming Seaport District. Different brand ambassadors from the likes of Lululemon and Equinox host outdoor workout classes each Saturday. Check the rotating schedule to see if you’re in for a booty making kickboxing class or vinyasa flow yoga class.
The hottest place to chill outside in Boston is Lawn on D. This free community space includes your favorite lawn games like cornhole and is most known for its interactive swings. Often lighting up a different color, you won’t be able to leave without indulging your inner child and getting some swing time on Lawn on D’s iconic light up swings. Grab brunch from Cafe D or the selection of local food trucks, including a variety of vegetarian options.
Just a 20 minute walk from Lawn on D, Harpoon Brewery is one of Boston’s favorite breweries and beer halls. Harpoon collaborates with EnerNOC, a leading supplier of green energy solutions and management, to reduce waste, manage chemical use responsibly, and reduce energy use overall. Outside of reducing their operations footprint, Harpoon uses “waste” from beer production to create delicious soft pretzels with a variety of dipping sauces. Enjoy your beer in the most sustainable way possible – locally-brewed, from the cask, and on a nice day, in their outdoor beer garden.
Carbon: 2-4 kg CO2e (including beer, food, and energy use in the building)
Officially established in 1951, the Freedom Trail runs 2.5 miles through Boston and hosts 16 historic sites marking significant people, events, and time in U.S. history. From King’s Chapel, Boston’s first Anglican Church to the Old State House and site of the Boston massacre, you experience the American Revolution outside the textbook. Finish the trail at Faneuil Hall, conveniently located next to Quincy Market where you can end your walk with plenty of exciting local food options for you and your friends.
Close your night with a free performance of Shakespear’s Cymbeline on the Boston Common. This dramedy follows Imogen, daughter of King Cymbeline, through a mythic realm of twists and turns on a quest for true love. Originally launched in 1996, Shakespeare on the Common welcomes 50,000 people annually. Plan to bring a blanket or rent a chair for $5 to stay comfortable. If you find yourself craving a snack, there are variety of food trucks nearby.
The North End is known for amazing Italian dinners and pastries. Close out your weekend at Terramia Ristorante on Salem Street, where you will have multiple vegetarian and vegan options without sacrificing authentic Itlalian taste. You can’t go wrong with the vegan raviolior Risotto Porcini E Asparagi.