At Small City, we know it can be a bit challenging to find fun things to do with your family and do your bit for the environment. We called upon the expert advice of the team from Little Green Ways to put together a handy guide for families to get out and about in Perthshire - whether your family is just adults, has one kid or many, we know you're going to find some super-green inspiration here.
What you’ll notice about most of these ideas is that they’re experiences that don’t rely on much in the way of new stuff - in fact, many of them are completly free. Let’s face it, the best things to do together usually involve playing and being daft!
Did you know that over 150 towns, cities – and islands – across Scotland have a Treasure Trail written specially for them? There are eight in Perth & Kinross alone. Just visit Treasure Trails, choose your trail, pay £6.99 for the map and clues and off you go! Kids and adults love it, and it’s a budget-friendly activity. Plus it doesn’t involve buying any “stuff”, you’ll find out more about your area and, to cut down on petrol, you can get the bus or train to most of the destinations.
What you’ll notice about most of these ideas is that they’re experiences that don’t rely on much in the way of new stuff.
If you love finding things and exploring, you can also try Geocaching or Pokémon Go - who'll catch 'em all? There are loads of cool sites in Perthshire for both of these so prepare for endless days of fun.
We know it’s an obvious one, but it really is one of the best and greenest way to have fun with your family, and Perthshire has so many options. With bike hire available from Progression Bikes in Dunkeld or Comrie Croft, reconditioned great-value bikes at The Bike Station and new bikes at JM Richards, you’re well-placed to take to the paths and trails! There are also some great groups such as Breeze Network or Tay Titans if you’d like to cycle with others.
Perth Community Farm is always looking for volunteers – what better way to get healthy and help a great project? There are Wednesday and Saturday working parties, as well as special kids’ afternoons. You don’t need to bring tools or equipment – just yourself and a can-do attitude. It’s also a great way to teach kids about where food comes from and how to grow veggies.
My fellow Little Green Ways blogger Naomi wrote recently about her birthday and how much she appreciated the thoughtful green gifts she received. Next time you have a birthday, how about asking people to be eco-friendly in their gifting? You could suggest that your pals or family buy you something vintage or pre-loved, or challenge them to buy something with no plastic in it…
I do kids’ party bags with brown paper bags - my daughter draws pictures on them!
I do kids’ party bags with brown paper bags (my daughter draws pictures on them), a book or notepad, a piece of birthday cake and some pencils or a pack of veggie seeds. Kids don’t need more than that!
If you’re doing a kids’ party, have a look at the outdoor ones run by Wee Adventures, Splash, Willowgate Activity Centre or Nae Limits. They offer activities such as den-building, rafting, paddle-boarding, abseiling and tree-climbing. Or do it yourself and play rounders, do mini golf, cycle in a forest or rampage around in the park for two hours! That means outdoor healthy fun, no balloons or glitter, and sleepy kids at night (always a bonus).
All dog owners know that taking the dog out is one of the easiest ways to have an eco-friendly adventure. Keep an eye on Dog Friendly Perthshire's website and Facebook page for inspiration and cool places to walk to (a beer and bowl of soup is always good incentive for us!).
If you love dogs but you don’t have your own waggy-tailed friend you could join Borrow My Doggy, which matches up dogs with people who would love to walk a dog but can’t own one.
Perth has so many beautiful rivers and lochs to explore, and you don’t have to be an expert – companies such as Outdoor Explore and Perth City Tours will take you on guided trips along our lovely waterways, including Loch Clunie, Loch Tay, Loch Rannoch and the River Tay in Perth city. There are even Litter-Free paddles with Outdoor Explore, where you can join free as long as you collect some litter as you go!
Kids love tech, don’t they? But rather than having them glued to watching videos, why not get them to make their own? Set them the challenge of making a short film with your phone about a day out, a trip to the park, the people in their family, whatever takes their fancy. Free apps such as iMovie make it easy. They could try a stop-motion animation with Lego figures or make a film with the older family members about what was different when they were young.
We hope we’ve inspired you to get out there and explore with your family while making those little changes to help the environment.
The best things to do together usually involve playing and being daft!
Remember: any change to help the environment is positive, so give yourself a pat on the back for doing what you do.
And if you come across a café, restaurant, shop or other business that is doing its bit for the planet, please say thanks to them and mention that in your online reviews.
For little green inspiration, or if you have any ideas you’d like to share, please do contact the team here at Small City, or go straight to th experts at Little Green Ways.