7 Stunningly Beautiful Places to Visit This Summer
There are so many amazing places to go in the world that you can't possibly get to all of them in your lifetime. But I think everyone has that bucket list of places that they have always wanted to go to or things they've always wanted to do. Here at EcoWatch, we are all about eco-vacations. And with the National Park Service turning 100 next year, it's a great time to get out and explore America's beautiful natural places. So, I've put together this list of 10 places to consider for your summer vacation that are sure to be fun for you and your family while connecting you with the beauty of our natural world.
1. Watch baby sea turtles get released on North Padre Island
There's a hatchery within Texas's Padre Island National Seashore on the Gulf of Mexico that protects the turtle eggs until they hatch. The releases occur from mid-July to late August and are open to the public near the Malaquite Beach Visitor Center. You can camp within the park for only $8 a night.
2. Go where the bison roam
These creatures are so majestic. And there's an estimated 3,000 of them in America's first national park—Yellowstone. There's so much to do and see in this massive park of 2.2 million acres besides taking in these beautiful creatures with geysers, hot springs, and plenty of wildlife to see on the more than 900 miles of hiking trails within the park.
Photo credit: Shutterstock
3. Hike the Lost Coast Trail
For those up for it, the three-day 24-mile hike along California's rugged northern coast is well worth it. The "Lost Coast" is an 80-mile stretch of the California coast that developers of Highway 1 left untouched in the 1930s because development in the area proved too difficult. You can take in the beautiful California surf on one side and scenic cliffs on the other as you tour abandoned lighthouses and walk past sea lions basking on the beach. Make sure to print a tide table before going as a few parts of the trek become impassable at high tide.
Photo credit: Shutterstock
4. Explore Smokey Mountains National Park
The park is known for its wildlife viewing opportunities, especially of American black bears, so much so, that the park currently has a warning for increased bear activity. It's always important to treat bear encounters with extreme caution. The park is also known for deer, elk, otters and at least 30 species of salamander (who knew there were so many species of salamanders!). Plus, the views aren't bad, either.
Photo credit: Shutterstock
5. Snorkel in Hawaii
There are so many great snorkeling spots on each of the islands. "The Big Island and Maui far exceed Oahu and Kauai in terms of the amount of snorkeling locations and the quality and quantity of healthy reefs, fish and other sea life," says Tropical Snorkeling. "If big fields of corals are your thing, the Big Island is probably best for you. But if you really love snorkeling with green sea turtles, then Maui has the edge."
Photo credit: Shutterstock
6. Raft the Green River
"Winding through a remarkable wilderness of twisted mountains, dramatic cliffs and towering plateaus carved by an ancient inland sea, the Green River through Desolation Canyon offers one of America’s favorite rafting trips," says Western River Expeditions. The outfitter runs trips for five days over 84 miles starting and ending in Moab, Utah. "Comfortable summer water temperatures and more than 60 fun-filled rapids make this Green River rafting trip the ideal getaway for your next adventure," says Western River Expeditions. Plus, if you have time, you can check out nearby Canyonlands and Arches national parks.
7. Kayak around Washington's San Juan Islands
Tour Washington's beautiful San Juan Islands by kayak through touring companies like Sea Quest Expeditions. The company offers half-day trips, sunset kayaking and tours that last up to five days. On the islands, you can explore beaches, waterfalls and hiking trails and you might even catch glimpses of orca whales.
Photo credit: Shutterstock
Where are you heading this summer or what was your favorite eco-vacation? Share below in the comments and we'll round them up for a great post this summer.
YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE
In a dramatic rescue captured on camera, a Florida man ran into a pond and pried open an alligator's mouth in order to rescue his beloved puppy, all without dropping his cigar.
- 'He had green eyes': Florida man will paint alligator that attacked him ›
- Florida alligator attack: A woman was attacked by a 10-foot alligator ... ›
- Weird presidential pets include alligator, tiger cub, dog named Satan ... ›
- Alligators make terrible pets: 'You're basically dealing with a dinosaur.' ›
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
Jean-Marc Neveu and Olivier Civil never expected to find themselves battling against disposable mask pollution.
When they founded their recycling start-up Plaxtil in 2017, it was textile waste they set their sights on. The project developed a process that turned fabrics into a new recyclable material they describe as "ecological plastic."
Mounting Piles of Waste<p>It is not only the streets of Chatellerault where pandemic pollution is piling-up, but also the world's beaches and oceans. Once there, they can take up to 450 years to degrade and disappear.</p><p>Esther Röling, co-organizer of the annual Adventure Clean Up Challenge held on Hong Kong Island, has seen this waste firsthand. In October the sports challenge pitted teams against one another in a competition to remove trash from 13 hard-to-reach coastal areas around the city.</p><p>They find tons of both disposable and reusable masks, said Röling. "You wonder how it ended up there. Was it just thrown on the ground? Or was it in a garbage bag that broke open?"</p><p>Almost 10,000 kilometers away in Antibes on the sunny French Riviera, it's a similar picture. For the past few months, divers and clean-up volunteers working with an ocean clean-up non-profit called Operation Mer Propre have been collecting an increasing number of masks found on land and in the sea.</p><p>"Since the beginning of the lockdown when we started to count, we've reached 800, 900, [and now in total] 1000 masks," said co-founder Joko Peltier. </p><p>According to <a href="https://unctad.org/news/growing-plastic-pollution-wake-covid-19-how-trade-policy-can-help" target="_blank">UN estimates</a>, up to 75% of all coronavirus-related plastic could end up as waste in oceans and landfills.</p>
The Limits of Recycling<p>Yet not all are convinced the recycling of this waste is possible on a global scale. </p><p>"What those citizen groups are doing is really beneficial but once they collect it, it should just go to a landfill or an incinerator. They shouldn't necessarily expect it to get recycled," said Jonathan Krones, an industrial ecologist and visiting assistant professor of environmental studies at Boston College.</p><p>That's because mask recycling programs like Plaxtil are few and far between and most don't have the benefit of a readily adaptable production process. </p><p>Even in countries with solid recycling infrastructure, he says, the system is designed to separate out specific types of waste like bottles or cardboard.</p><p>"I imagine that it would be technically feasible to develop a separation process to filter out masks, but there simply aren't enough of them to make that economical," he said.</p><p>Collection is a big hurdle, he adds. Since each mask only weighs a fraction of a gram and they're scattered on roads or mixed with other trash, it is difficult and costly. </p><p>"You need a lot of raw material of the right quality to make investing in the recycling technology and the recycling system worthwhile," he said.<span></span><br></p>
Hemp, Sugar Cane and Sustainable Alternatives<p>Some projects are instead addressing the material used to make masks.</p><p>French company Geochanvre have created a mask made primarily from hemp, while in Australia, researchers at the Queensland University of Technology are experimenting with a disposable product made from agricultural waste. </p><p>Biodegradable options are exciting alternatives to reduce the fossil fuels needed for the creation of plastic-based masks, said Krones, but they don't absolve the wearer from the responsibility of what happens afterwards. </p><p>Bio-based masks often need their own composing solutions, he explains, because in landfill they can produce high amounts of the greenhouse gas methane when anaerobic bacteria feeds on the organic material. Methane is known to be significantly more potent than carbon dioxide.</p><p>"I think as long as we have in our mind that we want to have disposability, we're going to have to wrestle with a variety of different sorts of environmental tradeoffs," he said, adding that reusable, fabric masks are the best option available to most people.</p><p>Precimask is developing a clear face covering with an optional visor made from hard plastic, designed to be long-lasting.<br></p><p>Air enters either side of the cheeks through a technology normally found in pool filters and car exhaust systems, said company spokeswoman Juliette Chambet.</p><p>"We wanted to make ceramic-based filters that would be washable and cleanable, which would allow them to be reused as many times as desired without having to buy a new consumable or produce waste," she said. </p><p>Ultimately, encouraging mask wearers to think about the entire lifecycle of a mask is key, explains Neveu. </p><p>"We want people who put on the masks to realize that they are also responsible for the waste, he said. "It's not inevitable that this [pandemic] will become an environmental catastrophe.</p><p><em>Reposted with permission from </em><em><a href="https://www.dw.com/en/covid-19-recycling-pollution-trash-pandemic/a-55707817" target="_blank">Deutsche Welle</a>.</em><a href="https://www.ecowatch.com/r/entryeditor/2649032193#/" target="_self"></a></p>
- Coronavirus Plastic Waste Polluting the Environment - EcoWatch ›
- Scuba Divers Make Face Masks out of Recycled Ocean Plastic ... ›
By Bret Wilkins
In a year in which the United States has already suffered 16 climate-driven extreme weather events causing more than $1 billion in economic damages, and as millions of American workers face loss of essential unemployment benefits due to congressional inaction, a report published Monday reveals the Trump administration has given fossil fuel companies as much as $15.2 billion in direct relief — and tens of billions more indirectly — through federal COVID-19 recovery programs since March.
- 'We Need People's Bailout, Not Polluters' Bailout': Climate Groups ... ›
- Corporate Polluters Have Received Tens of Millions in PPP Loans ... ›
- Trump Bails Out Oil Industry, Not U.S. Families, as Coronavirus ... ›
- Former Federal Reserve Governor Rebukes Fed for Fossil Fuel Bail ... ›
By Ashia Aubourg
As Thanksgiving approaches, some Indigenous organizations and activists caution against perpetuating further injustices towards Native communities. Indigenous activist Mariah Gladstone, for example, encourages eaters to celebrate the harvest time in ways that do not involve stereotypes and pilgrim stories.
- Why Face Masks Belong at Your Thanksgiving Gathering + 7 Things ... ›
- Reasons to Be Thankful — 8 Food and Farm 'Good News' Stories ... ›
- Why I'm Going to Standing Rock for Thanksgiving - EcoWatch ›
By Alex Middleton
Losing weight and reducing fat is a hard battle to fight. Thankfully, there are fat burner supplements that help you gain your target body and goal. However, how would you know which supplement is right for you?