While sustainability isn’t always the first idea to pop into one’s head while traveling, there are little ways to sneak in something that can be good that doesn’t require much, if any, extra effort. In tourism, sustainability is so much more than just “going green” but rather shifts the idea to expand making tourism something that present generations can enjoy, while sustaining it so that many more generations to follow can also enjoy these resources. Utilize the ideas below while visiting Mesa to help preserve the natural beauty of this city, or really anywhere you venture for that matter, because travelling for fun is great but travelling responsibly is more in style.
Before you set sail on your journey to Mesa, do a little homework on where you’d like to stay by seeing if they offer any sustainable incentives. Hilton Phoenix/Mesa, Days Inn East Mesa, and Fairfield Inn & Suites Mesa all scored well on having a low carbon emissions footprint along with Holiday Inn Hotel & Suites Mesa implementing their IHG Green Engage system which provide green solutions among their hotels. Also, try to pack light and tight! You won’t have to worry about hauling around extra luggage pieces and keeping track of them while travelling to and from your destination. If you are venturing out with a partner you could consider sharing luggage. Now if you are feeling adventurous try an alternative to hotels such as camping. Mesa has several campgrounds to choose from whether you’re willing to rough it on the ground via tent (try Usery) or are dragging out an RV (check out Arizona State RV Guide), but remember what you come with you leave with — aka any trash and no collecting.
Take the light rail! Once you arrive to Mesa the next step is often finding transportation to explore the region, and taking the light rail can be one of the most sustainable options. The Valley Metro – Metro Light Rail extends into Mesa just past Downtown, and an additional two miles of track is being built which will offer more stops along Main Street. It will save you money in transportation with a single all day pass at only $4, which allows you to hop on and off as many times as you please within the day. The light rail can be its own personal tour guide, showing you the ways of Downtown Mesa, to the heart of Tempe, all the way up to the states capital and back down again. For added fun, rent one of the many Grid Bike Shares in any of those cities for further exploration!
“When in Rome…” or “when in Mesa…” Either way this mantra can take place here! Immerse yourself in Mesa’s culture by participating as a local. Eating, shopping, and attending local events not only means keeping the money in Mesa’s economy, which has endless benefits for the community, but you are also contributing by supporting local businesses (yay!). Mesa has an array of grub hubs that are worth checking out such as The Eatery at Queen Creek Olive Mill, Hacienda De Rosa’s Restaurante, Desert Eagle Brewing Company, T.C. Eggington’s, and The Oak Room just to name a few. Of course, no one really likes to cook on their vacation (can’t blame you), but something that could spark you interest is to check out the local farmers markets like True Garden Market where you can pick up some fresh produce on Wednesdays and Saturdays or the Superstition Ranch Farmers Market that is open daily—no need to wait for a specific day of the week—to pick up smaller treats and snacks to have for your duration.
Another way to practice sustainable travelling is to find activities/events/businesses that also give back to the local communities. Companies that give back to their city or a specific local organization once again are helping to sustain its lifespan and help with its general upkeep so everyone can enjoy it. Win-win all around!
Remember to tag us with #VisitMesa so you can show us how you are touring Mesa sustainably.
Article contributed by Lyndsey Mueller