Make Memories, Leave only Footprints: Sustainable Travel Ideas in Waterloo Region

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With Earth Day quickly approaching, it’s time to re-think our sustainability and eco-friendly practices. Here at Explore Waterloo Region, we like to celebrate Earth Day every day, and one of our favourite ways to do so is by prioritizing experiences over material things. With so many fun things to do in the region, why not turn your focus towards supporting local, sustainable businesses––while reducing your carbon footprint. 

While it can be hard to narrow down, here are just a few ways to support the community – and the planet! – this spring. 

Enjoy a Meal Out at Locally-Obsessed Restaurants 

What better way to enjoy the company of loved ones than around the dinner table? In Waterloo Region, reduce your carbon footprint by staying local and try one of the many sustainable, locally-sourced restaurants in the area. Borealis Grille & Bar in Kitchener is B Corp certified, which means higher standards of social and environmental performance, transparency and accountability. Try their Date Night Menu sprinkled with seasonal selections for a romantic experience out on the town.

For another locally-obsessed option, stop by Fat Sparrow Marketplace. Locally-sourced food means lower carbon emissions that’s better for you and Mother Earth. For a cozy date night at home, grab one of their “to-go” options, like the Stone Crock Famous Cabbage Roll Dinner. 

Spend Time in Nature While Canoeing the Grand 

Looking to participate in conservation efforts? Hop in a canoe and paddle the scenic Grand River this spring! Not only is canoeing a great way to enjoy the great outdoors, but it’s also an epic workout, plus if you want to help out Mother Earth––consider bringing a trash bag and collecting garbage along the way.

Paddling along the river should be at the top of every local bucket list, but if canoeing isn’t for you, as the months get warmer you can also raft or tube with the current as well. If you don’t own any equipment, Canoeing the Grand offers rentals all season long, as does Grand River Experiences at Bingemans. 

Take in a Concert at Centre in the Square 

For the music lovers, there is no better experience than catching a live concert at Centre in the Square. The music venue offers live theatre and performance arts in Downtown Kitchener year-round. For classic music buffs, Centre in the Square is also home to the famed Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony performances that draw a crowd each year. From exceptionally funny comedy acts, or legendary musical performances, there is a constant roster of exciting shows for a memorable experience. 

See a Broadway-Level Play (or Two) With Drayton Entertainment 

Drayton Entertainment is the number one way to take in a play put on by the most successful theatre program in the country. From riveting Broadway musical hits, to non-stop laughter comedy, to edge of your seat dramas––there is truly something for everyone. The theatre company puts on acts for all ages, meaning plenty of family fun options across siz unique playhouses. Within Waterloo Region, find the Hamilton Family Theatre Cambridge in Cambridge, and St. Jacobs Country Playhouse and the Schoolhouse Theatre in St. Jacobs putting on monthly performances that delight.

Learn about Farming in a Fresh, New Way

Udderly Ridiculous Farm Life is an opportunity for people to experience country life, learn about food production, and intimately engage with the animals who live on the farm. Take an Alpaca for a walk, try Goat Yoga, enjoy an Alpaca Picnic, and taste the farm’s gourmet goat milk ice cream (make sure to take some home with you!)

At Utterly Ridiculous Farm their mission is to be good stewards for the people, animals and land they’ve been entrusted with. That’s why they believe in sustainable farming practices, in supporting local where possible, and in giving back.

This Earth Month, take in the things that matter most and prioritize experiences and times spent with loved ones. Not only will this leave you with memories to last a lifetime, but in the process, you reduce your carbon footprint by staying local and supporting small businesses. A win-win-win! 


Megan Honan is a seasoned travel, food and lifestyle writer based in Waterloo Region. Megan currently holds bylines for Suitcase Magazine, NUVO, S/Magazine, Canadian Traveller, Days to Come, Swanky Retreats and more. She’s worked with some of the top travel companies across the globe to create content and help with overall brand strategy, including G Adventures and Cosmopolitan Hotels. To connect, please visit


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