Summer brings warmer temps and more time outdoors, making it the perfect time to think about the planet. Here are some ways to make your summer fun more eco-friendly.
Plant a garden
Planting fruits or vegetables on your own property, or as part of a community garden, will not only yield healthy, delicious produce, but save you money and trips to the grocery store. Yard-to-table is even better than farm-to-table! Planting flowers will help pollinators like bees and birds, on which 35% of the world’s agricultural crops depend. If your outdoor space is limited, add pots or containers to a sunny porch or windowsill.
Planning a summer picnic or cookout? Consider bringing reusable or compostable plates and utensils instead of plastic and encourage guests to bring their own water bottles instead of buying disposable plastic ones. Studies have shown that plastic waste increases by 40% in the summer months, and all that plastic ends up in landfills where it produces harmful greenhouse gasses.
Try to limit your AC use to days when you really need it. Save energy by using fans and opening windows whenever possible and use blinds or curtains to keep your home cool in the heat of the day. Use natural light instead of turning on lights during the day and skip the dryer and hang your clothes outside to dry. Switching to an electric lawnmower eliminates the emissions caused by gas-powered mowers.
Summer is the time when many families take road trips, but having fun doesn’t have to mean traveling a long distance. Find places near you–like a ropes course, hiking trail, or museum–that you may not have visited by checking the website of your local tourism board for ideas.