Certain sustainable habits can be practiced year round, but each season also has its own set of unique opportunities for intentionality and sustainability. This weekend we had our first pair of sunny and warm days, and with Memorial Day approaching I figured it might be the perfect time to share a few intentional activities for having a more sustainable summer! Some of these practices might be familiar to you, but I hope that maybe you takeaway a couple new ideas from this list.
10 Ways To Have a More Sustainable Summer
Abide by the Carry In Carry Out Rules
Littering? Not cool. Preserving nature, its beauty and livelihood? Very cool. Whether you’re day hiking, at the beach or visiting a campground, make sure you carry out any trash or recyclables you brought in with you! Cut down on trash altogether by using reusable containers for snacks and drinks.
Help Clean Up Our Beaches
Our oceans are becoming increasing polluted with plastic and other waste and a lot of that pollution is washing up onto our shores. Take a few minutes to help clean up by picking up just 5 pieces of trash and disposing of it properly.
Try Growing 1 or 2 of Your Favorite Vegetables
Depending on where you’re located, summer is a great time to experiment with gardening. You don’t need to plant a full garden to tap into your green thumb. Start by growing just one or two of your favorite summer vegetables or herbs in containers! Tomatoes or peppers are a great place to start. Too late to start seeds? Buy an established plant from a local nursery instead!
Say No To Weed Killer
Round-Up and Glyphosate have made the headlines quite a bit lately. Studies have linked glyphosate (a chemical ingredient in weed killers like Round Up), to cancer and other problems in the body. The FDA continues to allow the use of glyphosate, but recent lawsuits have been ruled in favor of individuals who have sued Bayer and Monsanto. Round Up isn’t just bad for humans, it’s also harmful to our bees population. Not to be dramatic, but if bees ceased to exist, so would plants and thus, so would we.
PSA: your lawn doesn’t need to look flawless. Nature isn’t flawless, and that’s part of its beauty. If weeds bother you, look into natural ways of deterring their growth, or hand pull them. But please, don’t spray them with Round Up.
Opt for a Local “Stay-Cation” Rather Than Flying
I am by no means against traveling. I think people should visit the world if the opportunity is available to them. But I am advocating for intentional travel. Air travel has a pretty large eco-footprint with planes emitting roughly 53 lbs of carbon dioxide per mile. Instead of flying this year, you could try visiting a few destinations in your state or region. There are often hidden gems right under our noses, and choosing to stay local this summer will give you the chance to explore what your state has to offer and support your local economy. If you do fly somewhere, you can offset your carbon emissions by donating to an organization or non-profit that is dedicated to the removal of carbon emissions through alternative energies or forestation projects. If you plan to offset your flight, make sure you do it through a reputable organization like The Gold Standard or Green-e.
Fill A Growler of Beer for Your BBQ Instead of Buying Cans or Bottles
Microbreweries are on the rise across America. Even our town has 3 breweries within the city limits. Filling up growlers vs. buying 6 packs is a good way to cut down on recyclables and support a local business! Use an app like Untappd to find out where you can fill growlers in your area!
Avoid Suncreens With Oxybenzone And Other Harmful Chemicals
Conventional sunscreens rely on chemicals to filter the UV rays, while Mineral suncreen use mineral particles like Titanium Dioxide and Zinc Oxide. One common chemical in conventional sunscreens in Oxybenzone. The FDA still considers oxybenzone to be safe, but studies have shown the chemicals to have endocrine disrupting actions. Oxybenzone is also one of the chemicals that’s harming the ocean’s reefs and wildlife. The Environmental Working Group has great resources for choosing safer sunscreens that I highly recommend checking out.
Visit Your Local Farmer’s Market
Later this week I’m going to break down all of the good reasons to visit your local farmers market. Visiting your local farmers market is one of my favorite ways to have a sustainable summer. Something about the market just feels so communal and alive!
Carry A Reusable Water With You
This a year-round no brainer, but an important one to remind you about as people tend to drink even more water in the hotter months. Emergencies happen and sometimes we end up with a plastic bottle of water, but doing our best to keep our own bottle with us is a great way to combat the plastic waste problems.
a few last thoughts:
As I wrote these, tons of other opportunities came to mind, but my point here isn’t to overwhelm you. Instead, my hope is that this read inspires you to think about how your choices can affect the environment and thus make intentional decisions. All of these activities/habits are a great starting place for having a more sustainable summer. What other habits come to mind? Leave a comment below and let me know: how will you be having a more sustainable summer?
Interested in living more sustainably but having a difficult time with figuring out where to start? Send me a message and find out if the Sustain + Grow coaching program is the kickstart you’re looking for!
Thank you so much for reading!