Having an eco-friendly summer is a wonderful way to enjoy the season while reducing your impact on the environment.
Here are some tips to help you have a more sustainable and environmentally conscious summer!
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Opt for More Sustainable Transportation:
Choose eco-friendly modes of transportation whenever possible. Walk, bike, or use public transportation instead of driving a car. If you’re going on a road trip, carpool with friends or consider renting an electric or hybrid vehicle. You could also opt for an electric bike or electric scooter.
Embrace Outdoor Activities
Take advantage of the warm weather by engaging in outdoor activities that don’t require excessive energy consumption. Explore local parks, go hiking or camping, have a picnic, or organize outdoor games and sports.
Reduce Energy Consumption
Make a conscious effort to reduce your energy consumption during the summer. Turn off lights and appliances when not in use, utilize natural lighting instead of artificial lights, and consider using energy-efficient fans or air conditioning units. You can also use blackout curtains to insulate your home from the sun, so that your home stays cooler. You may also want to consider solar energy, as solar panels can harness the energy of the sun especially in the summer months.
Be mindful of your water usage, as water scarcity is a growing concern in many regions. Take shorter showers, fix any leaks promptly, water your plants during the cooler parts of the day to reduce evaporation, and consider installing water-saving devices like low-flow showerheads and faucet aerators.
Choose Sustainable Sunscreen
Look for skin protection such as reef-safe sunscreen, which should be free from harmful chemicals like oxybenzone and octinoxate, as these can harm marine life and coral reefs. Reef-safe sunscreens are often required in a lot of tropical vacation destinations, such as resorts in Cancun. Opt for mineral-based sunscreens that use ingredients like zinc oxide or titanium dioxide – these are not just healthier for the environment, they are better for you!
Reduce Single-Use Plastics
Summer activities often involve disposable items, but you can minimize your use of single-use plastics. Bring your own reusable water bottle, coffee cup, and reusable utensils. Many establishments no longer use straws, so you can bring your own. Some places still use single-use straws, in which case it is wise to bring your own reusable straws. Use reusable bags for grocery shopping and pack your snacks in reusable containers.
Shop Local and Seasonal
Support local farmers and reduce your carbon footprint by shopping at farmers’ markets or joining a community-supported agriculture (CSA) program. Choose seasonal produce that requires fewer resources to grow and transport. Often, these will be healthier, as they are fresher and often organic as well.
Host Eco-Friendly Gatherings
If you are hosting summer get togethers, use reusable or biodegradable plates, cups, and utensils instead of disposable ones. Offer vegetarian or plant-based food options, as meat production has a significant environmental impact. Shop local for foods and supplies, and if you are offering favors, choose something with less impact, such as something packaged in a glass jar or perhaps a small plant.
Make Your Yard a Haven for Flora and Fauna
Instead of focusing on having a great lawn, think about making at least part of your yard a habitat for pollinators and wildlife. For example, plant native species of plants that attract hummingbirds and bees, and offer a water feature such as a bird bath or pond for a source of water.
Use a Rainwater Barrel
Summer can be dry, and it is a good idea to collect rainwater when possible, which you can use to water your plants, vegetable garden, etc. A rainwater barrel makes this easy, and gives you a more eco-friendly source of water for your garden.
Along with taking some steps to be eco-friendly, share your knowledge and passion for eco-friendly practices with friends, family, and the community. Encourage others to make sustainable choices and organize environmentally themed activities or events.
Remember, every small action counts when it comes to protecting the environment. By incorporating these eco-friendly tips into your summer routine, you can make a positive difference while enjoying the season to the fullest.