Sustainable stag dos
The planet we live on is under extreme pressure from 7.5 billion people. Although Wall-E shows us exactly what will could happen, if we all work together to make good choices, we could help to limit how much damage we cause. Now, stag dos and sustainability may not seem like two things that can work together, but we're about to open your eyes to the world of environmentally sound escapades.
We want to clear up that just because we're talking about sustainability, it doesn't mean we're going to book you in to hug trees or roll around in leaves. We simply hope to inform you that there are options to organise an entire stag weekend, without stamping a dirty great environmental mark.
From air pollution to food and everything in between, we'll give you a run down of everything that you can consider to make your stag do amazing fun and have less impact on the environment.
Environmentally friendly stag do activities
The best way to try and stay green on a stag do is ultimately to get outdoors and take part in the vast range of activities that are available. Here we will discuss the best options for your eco-friendly stag do and explain the best bits. We have also rated each out of 5, based on fuel used to travel to and from each activity, any electricity/fuel used to be able to run the activity and any physical impact on the local environment:
Canoeing and bushcraft trips
These are simply awesome! There are a few locations around the UK where you can do these trips (see our complete article here) and all of them offer the group the opportunity to get into the great outdoors. During the course of one of these trips, there is minimal fuel used (a camp fire or two) and one of the biggest impacts would be the potential stay in a hotel on the night before your trip, which is very common. This could be overcome and it's one of the best options for a whole weekend activity. If you want more information, we've written an entire article about Canoeing and Bushcraft stag dos, so take a look.
A great bit of fun and the main environmental impact would be someone falling in to the water and disturbing the wildlife, although you'll probably have scared most of that off anyway! No fuel will be used during the activity and so it's one of the best activities for controlling your eco-values.
Coasteering / gorge scrambling
Two extremely popular activities with stag groups and with a low impact on the environment. Both are based on or in natural water sources and are great fun, making it a perfect eco-friendly stag do activity. They are usually a little bit of a trip from anywhere however, so this is the only factor that drops them to 4/5 for sustainability.
Assault courses are always a great stag do activity and give everyone the chance to show off all of their abilities (or none, which might be hilarious for everyone else to watch). The biggest environmental impacts are the construction/repair of the courses and the fact that they're reasonably sparse. But still a great environmentally friendly stag do activity.
These activities are sure-fire hits on any stag do, but the fact that they have a minimal effect on the environment is an absolute bonus. If you're wondering why they only get 4 out of 5, it's only because the locations are a little bit scattered, usually requiring a bit of travel and the fact that if outdoors, it could wear away the surface on site (we might be being a little harsh, but deal with it!)
Use your own engine and throw yourself down some hills. Whether you want to want to take on some trails at a centre or simply head out with a guide to explore some new terrain, mountain bikes offer a fantastic eco-friendly stag do activity. We may be being a bit harsh again, but as organised centres aren't found absolutely everywhere and often have reasonably size cafes, we're sticking with 4 out of 5.
Stand Up Paddleboarding
Another superb sustainable stag do activity right here! It's unlikely you're choosing this option if you're land-locked and most seaside destinations will offer SUP sessions. Floating along on a sea/lake/river is so perfectly eco-friendly. They create no noise, don't really even cause wake and you'll glide along with ease.
Exploring the open seas as part of your stag do is awesome! Get out on a kayak with your guide and use your internal motor to power over the high seas. Getting to and from the meeting point is the only reason that this doesn't get 5 out of 5 (the guide usually also has to transport the kayaks each time), as this departs from quite limited locations.
With so many footgolf courses across the UK, this scores high in the transport stakes. You're not going to have to drive for hours! Spend a couple of hours kicking balls at the stag proving your golf and football tekkers. A fantastic eco-friendly stag do activity, with the only downsides being that most have a clubhouse (use lots of energy) and all will throw footballs away from time-to-time, creating more landfill.
Activities to definitely avoid - Any type of driving activity (even if using electric motors/engines), large inflatables, any large crowd events (football/rugby/cricket etc). All of these types of activities require high amounts of energy to be run and create high emissions.
Environmentally friendly accommodation for a stag do
A lot of hotels never 'sleep', with lots of lighting, 24 hour fitness and leisure facilities, restaurants and more. As fantastically convenient as this may be for some, the environmental impact is not overly great! There are certainly other options to consider and so it just depends on how far you want to go. We would certainly advise against staying in big towns and cities, mainly due to the temptation of using 'convenient' energy. Take a look at our ideas below to see approximately what you like and then let us know what you're interested in:
Yurt camps - These sites usually offer a great balance between home comforts and going completely 'off-grid'. They are generally out in countryside locations which means there's less option to waste lots of energy. Wood burners/fire pits are also a regular feature, but it's up to you how much you want to use them. Getting to activities may reduce your sustainable factor, but Dorset and Devon have some great options, including activities from our list above.
Bunk houses - These are available in towns and cities as well as more rural locations, so even if you're not comfortable with going fully green, then bunk houses offer a suitable 'in-between'. Usually without big leisure facilities, kitchens etc, they offer comfort while not over-using energy.
Camping - The canoeing and bushcraft trips offer wild camping as part of the weekend, which is usually one of the most talked about parts of these trips. If you're happy to go without too many home comforts wild camping is a great way to minimise your environmental impact. You could also stay at a camp site, in tents instead of a hotel.
~ Yurt campsites offer great options for sustainable stag dos ~
Environmentally friendly stag do transport
Although transport is something you'll have to plan in advance, the environmental impact probably isn't the first thing that you think of when sorting it out. Transport during a stag weekend is essential and although we're not suggesting that you all hire Boris-bikes or try to complete ultra marathons with your suitcases, there are ways in which you can reduce emissions.
Public transport - A great way to reduce how much carbon will be produced as a result of a group of people getting somewhere. Trains and buses offer nationwide services which should get you very close to your destination (if not, definitely within a reasonable distance). Have a look at the National Rail, Stagecoach Bus and Megabus websites to see what your options are. To get to any activities, public transport means that you can also all have a drink and a chat on the way to and from them. This also means that you don't have to worry about parking during the weekend, which can be a pain in the backside and add extra cost.
Car sharing - If public transport isn't a winning option, car sharing is the next best thing. This offers much more flexibility with travelling, reduces travel time and means that you can all be a bit more relaxed. It is less environmentally friendly , but if there are no spaces in one of the group's cars then there is a smaller difference.
Minibus - Another option may be to hire a minibus for the stag do. Closer to a bus in terms of environmental impact, this is a great option, it will just mean that one or two people will need to be designated drivers for the weekend.
Eco-friendly stag do food
Catch your own food, such as the stag or best man. Both taste great on a BBQ or slow roasted over a camp fire. No, seriously now, eating on a stag do is sometimes forgotten about as a detail for the weekend, but it may take a little more planning if you'd like to try and be a bit more friendly towards the planet. Here are a few tips to make your diet as sustainable as possible:
- Try to commit to self-catering accommodation.
- Cook from fresh using locally sourced food.
- Avoid supermarkets. Go to local butchers and markets/greengrocers to purchase your food as this reduces the food miles.
- Don't stoop to take-away food as this is often produced using high-energy cooking methods.
With a view to broader environmental impact, the above points help to reduce the use of palm oil1 and helps to reduce the amount of single-use plastic.
1Make good choices about palm oil in any products by seeing if a company is signed up to work towards completely sustainable palm oil production
~ Fresh produce and cooking from scratch are winners for a sustainable stag do ~
Sustainable stag do t-shirts and fancy dress
Clothes manufacturing is definitely a massive blight on the world and causes serious harm, but you can definitely have stag-do t-shirts as part of a sustainable stag do. A simple way to enable this is to purchase second-hand t-shirts. The largest environmental impact has already been made during the manufacturing of the shirts, so getting them second-hand means that you're not adding to this impact. This might not be for everyone, but if you've read this far then we would wager that you're reasonably interested in everything sustainable.
Realistically, you will probably only wear a 'stag do shirt' once and let's be honest, it almost certainly isn't coming home clean. You don't have to go charity shopping for shirts, but could have a game for everyone to buy the 'whackiest' shirt or one that the stag would chose (obviously a mocking choice from everyone would be the funniest choice). Alternatively, places like social media buying pages offer up lots of bargains and mean that you're not adding extra pollution.
Fancy dress is popular for stag dos, so try to find fancy dress from second-hand sources again. If you doubt that you can do anything sensational, think again, I once created a He-Man outfit from cut-up charity shop clothes and tin foil.
If you're not sold on the idea, it's probably worth looking at an article written following an investigation by Stacey Dooley about the clothing industry. Unfortunately the documentary is no longer available, but you can have a look at what she discovered by looking here, it is truly shocking!
Final thoughts on a sustainable stag do
There are so many aspects to being eco-friendly that we can't possibly discuss all of them in a blog. Hopefully we've provided some good tips and you're now considering some of them for a stag do. Before we leave you in the wilderness, here are some final ideas to consider:
Toiletries to take - There are some great products which boast much better environmentally friendly production/ingredients and whilst you don't want to stink like an absolute wrong'un, this article is all about helping the planet. Deodorant sticks and bars of soap/shampoo are a couple of items to try out. They do the same job but don't generally use harsh chemicals or plastic.
Electronics - Instead of depending on electrical items, try to ditch things like phones and razors for a weekend. You may even enjoy escaping to simplicity!
How to book an eco-friendly stag do.
Give us a call and discuss your stag do plans. We can run through your ideas and help you to come up with a stag do weekend that is amazing fun and also not massively impacting the world around us. It's then a few simple steps to get your eco-stag do sorted:
- We'll give you all the information and prices for any sustainable stag do weekends you're considering.
- Once you're happy, we will get everything booked for your stag do trip with an initial deposit.
- Everyone will be set up with their own payment accounts, for their initial deposits (usually required within 7 days) and balance payments.
- Access to a full itinerary including all necessary contact details, timings and addresses.
Don't hold back. Let's get it sorted, have a great time and save the world!
Environmentally friendly stag do activities
The best way to try and stay green on a stag do is ultimately to get outdoors and take part in the vast range of activities that are available:
- Canoeing and bushcraft trips (see our complete article about why this rules)
- Raft building
- Gorge scramble
- Assault course
- Mountain biking
- Stand Up Paddleboarding
- Sea Kayaking
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