Posted: 03/21/2023 | by Tori

Traveling Sustainably to Lancaster County, PA

Lancaster County businesses are doing their part to ensure your visit is great AND green.

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We understand that travelers are becoming more conscious of how travel and tourism impacts the environment. Supporting local is an essential part of preserving what makes Lancaster County and wonderfully unique place to visit. tons of small businesses and farmers markets to roadside stands; Lancaster makes sustainable travel simple.

How can you get involved with our community?

Not only can supporting small sustainable businesses provide you with a way to support the local community, but it also is imperative to sustainable travel.

Lancaster Compost Co-op

Composting can be hard to do if you don't have open green space, such as living in an apartment or in an urban area and Lancaster Composting Co-op recognized this. In April 2021, Lancaster Composting Co-Ops launched a volunteer-led community initiative that enables Lancaster residents to participate in reducing landfill waste by creating high quality compost.

Composting is the act of turning organic materials into dirt! This dirt is nutrient rich which then can be used for plants and crops. Lots of farmers add compost to their soil to help their crops grow by soaking up the nutrients. Composting has many benefits, some of which are rejuvenating soils, reducing climate change, cleaning waterways, creating jobs and fostering a stronger community.

Lancaster Conservancy

Lancaster Conservancy has revived over 10,000 acres of land in Lancaster & York County. They have worked to protect these ecosystems and landscapes which are vital "for food, clean water, clean air, economic and public health, and the restoration of the soul and spirit." Currently the conservancy manages 50 nature preserves and over 70 conservation easements, totaling over 8,000 acres.

Providing wild and forested lands and clean waterways for our community. Forever.
Lancaster Conversancy | Mission Statement since 1969

Lancaster Farm Sanctuary

Lancaster Farm Sanctuary is on a mission to rescue farmed animals and provide them with a sanctuary; inspiring humans to live with compassion and respect. While not for everyone, reducing or eliminating the amount of animal products that you consume can greatly reduce its impact on our earth. You can read about the farm animals that they have saved and why on their Instagram page.

Lancaster Farmland Trust

Founded in 1988, the goal was to united farmers, plain and not, in preserving our agriculture. Since then, Lancaster Farmland Trust has been able to preserve 565 farms and 34,692 acres of farmland. Today Lancaster Farmland Trust is working towards the preservation and conversation of the agriculture and the water shed in Lancaster County and the Chesapeake Bay, to continue to preserve more farmland and acres.

In addition, each October, Discover Lancaster partners with Lancaster Farmland Trust to promote Restaurant Week.

Community supported agriculture

Community supported agriculture (CSA) is a great way to join the sustainable movement because of its reduced carbon footprint. Not only is it reducing your carbon footprint by not having to deliver produce miles away, it is also a great way to connect with your community. And really what’s better than eating fresh produce that was grown right in your backyard, or even a few miles down the street?

Homefield Farms

Homefield Farms is a great example of a CSA farm that also gives those of varying abilities a home. Located on a 19-acre farm, Homefield Farms has welcomed hundreds of people with a disability or other barriers to traditional employment, to engage with their Care Farm which grows organic produce for community shareholders.

Lancaster Farm Fresh Co-op

Lancaster Farm Fresh Co-op set out with a goal "to support local farms in an industry eclipsed by large agribusiness" and has reached that goal by today working alongside over 100 Farmers. In addition to working with local farmers, Lancaster Farm Fresh Co-op also makes sure that these Farmers are giving their small herds and flocks the space and safety to roam free and forge in Lancaster County grasses; as well as being certified USDA Organic.

Supporting Green Businesses

Lancaster County has lots of small businesses that all need our love and support. Check out a few small businesses that are making big moves towards sustainable and green practices. However, for those looking for businesses that are not only selling a great product but also making a big impact check out this list.

Fun Activities

Lancaster Creative Factory

Turn clay into delicate pottery or melt glass to create a unique shape of your own at Lancaster Creative Factory. They offer 6-week classes, date night classes and advanced workshops. No matter what you choose, whether beginner or advance, you can mess up as many times as you'd like without creating any waste! Did you know that clay is infinitely recyclable before it’s fired? The folks at Lancaster Creative Factory do and they’re using this fact to their advantage in their pottery programs. Glass is also infinitely recyclable making it another sustainable medium to create and craft unique works of art. That's because clay is infinitely recyclable, as long as it's before it's fired and glass is infinitely recyclable whether it gets too hot or too cold!

River Discovery Boat Tours

The Chief Uncas will welcome you aboard for Susquehanna National Heritage Area’s River Discovery Boat Tours are made possible by Chief Unacas. A electric-powered boat built in 1912. This boat has cruised the water of the Susquehanna, for over a century. Take a staff guided tour of the Susquehanna, sharing its natural beauty and cultural heritage. Experience the joy of being on the water, hear stories of the river, and view scenic landscapes and abundant wildlife aboard this elegant treasure from the past!

Lancaster Creative Reuse

Lancaster Creative Reuse’s mission is to connect with the community through creativity. They do this by offering low-cost craft options, open craft tables and educational programs. They are able to take items that would have otherwise been thrown out and create a space for those looking to gather supplies and make fantastic creations. Lancaster Creative Reuse is the perfect spot to shop when looking for your next crafting idea.

Lancaster Science Factory

The Mueller Family Outdoor Courtyard at the Lancaster Science Factory makes it easy for kids to learn why it is important to take care of our plant, while having fun! The Courtyard also holds a Stormwater Cistern, Rain Garden, Solar Power Flower, a mural by Katie Trainer and so much more.

The courtyard will be open as weather allows April – November.

Cherry Crest Adventure Farm

Bring the kids to Cherry Crest Adventure Farm to have a fun filled day at an agri-tainment farm! Not only is it a farm wonderland for kids, but it is also a working farm for raising cows and chickens alongside a 300 acre crop field. All of their farm operations are sustainably powered by solar energy

Horst Arts

Horst Arts has lots of fun crafty class events to choose from, Say it with Paper, The Great Create, to Funky Junk, and Junk Journal.

Their Junk Journal class offers a way to reuse materials from other classes, as well as utilizing the household like old magazines, books, and greeting cards. So, bring your own paper and non-paper materials to their next Junk Journal event to create something out of gently-used over scraps.

Cherry Hill Orchards

Perfect place to pick some seasonally fruit, grab gardening items and pick up canned and baked goods at their market. In addition to their wonderful produce, they have been solar powered since 2011.

For the Foodies

Passenger Coffee

Sustainability doesn't just stop at fun activities, it can impact every aspect of your daily life, starting with that morning cup of joe! Luckily Passenger Coffee is a B-Corp Certified Brand, which means they must be transparent about where they source their coffee beans from. This allows them to earn a score of 82.5 (,whereas most ordinary businesses are 50.9) in overall SEG (Social, Environmental and Governance), we can be sure they are on the right track. Their packaging is also almost 100% compostable!Did you know you can compost your coffee grounds? What about using used coffee grounds as natural deodorizer? They are even great for scrubbing stuck-on food off of dishes! So, before you throw your grounds think of other ways they can have a “second-life”.

Farmers Markets & Roadside Stands

Supporting your local farmers is one way to make a big impact. Most local farmers use traditional practices to allow their soils to be reintegrated during the off season. Many also allow their wildlife to roam free, creating humane lifestyle, which also limits the amount of methane emitted into our atmosphere.

Find your nearest farmers market or roadside stand to partake in sustainable local shopping!

Lemon Street Market

Lemon Street Market aligns with a traditional grocery store but the main difference is that it offers local produce, packaged food and products from various vendors. In addition to their local products they also sells eco-friendly household, cleaning, kitchen, and personal care products. It is really a one-stop shop for your eco-household needs.In addition to being eco-friendly, they are also community focused giving back to the Lancaster community through monthly donations to different local non-profit organizations.

If you are looking for the perfect restaurant that is sourcing local ingredients to create their delicious menu, then we got you covered.


Little Timber House

A small family own shopped in Lititz, Little Timber House sells home decor, eco-friendly and zero-waste kitchen, and cleaning products. As well as vintage items and hand-made wooden products made by the shop owner’s husband.

Lititz is known for its quaint boutiques where you’re sure to find more eco-friendly items, vintage goods and so much more.

Prussian Street Arcade

Prussian Street Arcade is a is home to over a hundred vendors selling a wide range of products, from vintage clothes, antiques, home decor, hand-made pottery or woodwork to comic books. Prussian Street has everything for anyone.

Building Character

Another small business that plays host to a slew of other smaller businesses. Building Character has over 100 “shops,” like Prussian Street Arcade ranging from vintage clothing, home decor, soaps, gemstones and so much more!

Places to Stay

Courtyard by Marriot

Did you know that Lancaster County has the first ever full solar powered Marriott-branded hotel in the country? Back in 2018, High Properties transformed the Courtyard by Marriot into a 100% solar powered. The power that the hotel does not use then is sold by the hotel to a local utility provider. In addition to being fully solar powered, they have electric car charging station, and display information on their carbon and water footprints on their website.

Historic Smithton Inn

The Historic Smithton Inn is one of those bed and breakfasts that offers a solution to an ever-growing need for travelers - electric car charging stations. Located in Ephrata, this historic inn offers charm with the convenience modern amenities.

Spooky Nook Sports & The Warehouse Hotel

Within Spooky Nook Sports’ large complex, lives their Warehouse Hotel which makes it a perfect place to stay for the visiting athlete and their family. Not only is it a convenient place to stay it is also a place where you can rest easy knowing they are doing their part to make their facilities as "green" as possible. Spooky Nook Sports is focusing their efforts on 6 main goals: cardboard recycling, reclaimed decor, laundry practices, TMS systems, rain water collection and geothermal heating and cooling.


Sustainability, zero-waste and the entire "eco" landscape can be overwhelming. But it's important to remember that it's not all or nothing, even one little change within your life can be the step in the right direction.

It is important to note that there is currently no regulation behind the words "green", "sustainable", "eco" and other buzz words associated with the topic. The only word that does have regulation behind it is, "organic". So, do your research before purchasing a product because with sustainability becoming a growing priority among travelers, there will certainly be a lot of green washing

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