Spring break is just around the corner which for some means a week long party. For others this might mean a week of relaxation after a chaotic term, yet many might foresee a week of boredom. If you’re unsure of the best way to get the most out of your spring break, don’t despair. There are a quite a few worthwhile, rewarding, and more sustainable options to spend your week of freedom. Here are a few alternative spring break ideas to make the most of your vacation!
Alternative spring break (ASB) trips usually refer to spending your break from classes as a volunteer. Whether you are going home or sticking around Knox, there are usually service projects available all over! National service organizations organize volunteer trips, such as United Way’s ASB where they suggest you “trade your beach towel for a tool belt”. You can make your own ASB, such as WWOOFing! WWOOF originally stood for Working Weekends On Organic Farms, now the WWOOf network enables people to stay and volunteer on a variety of organic properties for any amount of time. But you don’t have to travel for spring break. It can be as simple as going to your favorite nature area to clean up trash. Either at home or on travels, doing service work is always a rewarding way to spend your time. Other volunteering opportunities might include volunteering at the local food pantry, animal shelter, homeless shelter, or nursing home. If you enjoy helping others there are endless opportunities that await whether you stay home or decide to travel. The links below provide more information about United Way’s ASB and WWOOFing opportunities:
If you are sticking around the Galesburg area, camping at Green Oaks is a great way to relax during your break! It’s free and open for use by all Knox College students, staff, faculty, alumni, their families and their accompanied guests, so you won’t have to worry about the expense that goes along with some camping areas. Judging by how warm the weather has been so far, it might even be warm enough to take out the canoes! If you want a change of pace, Lake Storey also has a campground you can visit. If you want some more info about camping at Green Oaks or Lake Storey check out the links below:
Road trips might not always be seen as sustainable, but that doesn’t have to be the case! If you plan on going on a road trip this break here a few tips to stay green. First, make sure you plan your route. As much fun as it might be to just get in the car and drive, you will save a lot of fuel if you find the quickest routes to your destination. If you can, find the most fuel efficient car between you your friends to be the mode of transport, it’s also not a bad idea to get a tune up before you go! As far as food goes, instead of going to chain restaurants and fast food pit stops, consider finding local eateries on the way or stop at local food markets and make a picnic. The experiences are usually more genuine and the food is much tastier.
If you are sticking around Galesburg, spring break is a great opportunity to see local attractions that you might not normally have the time for. See what’s playing at the Orpheum, go to the Civic Art Center, or spend the day browsing the little shops downtown! Have you seen the big blue chair? Follow the Ronald Reagan Trail and find the marker outside his childhood home. There are pamphlets at the Galesburg library and a brochure at the Galesburg Welcome Center about all of the Galesburg attractions. It might be fun to be a tourist for the day and get to know the town that surrounds Knox!
More than likely you will be traveling at some point during break, if you have a long road ahead to go home, consider asking around the Knox campus about carpooling. There’s even a Facebook page to find a ride! There’s a good chance someone on campus is going in the same direction you are and carpooling not only saves money and fuel but also poses many new friendship opportunities! It’s also not a bad idea to look into the carbon emissions between travel options. For example, air travel is one of the most negative impacts you can make to your carbon footprint, it’s a good idea to look into all the different modes of transport before you settle for the plane.
Hopefully these ideas gave you some inspiration on how to spend your break, or possibly even sparked some brand new ones for yourself! Make sure you take time to relax and de-stress, and don’t forget to use your break to its fullest potential.