7 Sustainable Summer Wellness Activities

Sustainability isn’t just about the health and well-being of the planet– it’s also about the health and well-being of people. One way to promote wellness this summer is to go outside and engage with the natural environment.

Try one of these activities in the early morning or late evening to avoid rising temperatures. Remember, stay sun-safe and well hydrated by keeping a reusable bottle of water with you at all times.

Take Your Park Rx

Researchers at NC State have found that parks and green spaces provide health and mental benefits to both individuals and communities. Embrace the value of being outside this summer!


When you exercise your green thumb, your whole body benefits. Gardening is good for your mental and physical health with the added benefits of being able to eat the fruits (and vegetables) of your labor. Use these tips from NC State Extension to start and customize a garden to suit your needs.

Make a Date

Find a friend or family member and go outside together. Whether you run, walk or hike, you’ll be getting more enjoyable exercise because you’re doing it together. Plus, you are less likely to skip a scheduled date if there is another person involved. Make your time even more sustainable by picking up litter as you walk–plogging is for everyone!

Row Your Boat

Get out onto the water this summer. NC State Wellness and Recreation offers rentals of canoes, kayaks and paddleboards. Even being near the water can boost a sense of relaxation and improve your mental wellbeing.

Play in the Sand

Next time you are at the beach or lake, take a moment to play in the sand. Building castles can also help build muscles. Or join an intramural team through NC State Wellness and Recreation. This summer’s leagues include 4-on-4 Sand Volleyball.

Get Picking

Pick the perfect strawberry, blackberry, blueberry or muscadine grapes. While some of these items you may find while walking past the Learning Gardens on campus, you can always count on a local farm or orchard to pick a peck of perfect produce. Learn more about sustainable agriculture by volunteering at the NC State Agroecology Education.  

Visit Campus

Summer is still buzzing at NC State, especially if you visit one of our beehive or pollinator gardens! Take a stroll through campus and enjoy all of the sustainability features with the help of this online map. You can also bike, hike or walk through Lake Raleigh Woods, one of NC State’s nine Hallowed Places.