7 Tips For An Eco-Friendly Summer
Updated: Jul 17
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Hello everyone! It’s now almost July, and you all know what that means - it’s summer, a time of no school, vacations, and fun galore! While summer is a time to relax, it doesn’t mean that we stop working to protect the environment, so this year, I’m coming to you with 7 ways to live your best sustainable and eco-friendly summer life. Keep reading to see what they are!
Use the summer to your advantage to lower your electricity usage!
Summertime can mean some really hot temperatures, but before you turn the air conditioning on, try opening any windows or glass doors you may have and let nature’s breeze do its thing! It’s a foolproof way to decrease energy consumption, and I swear by it! If you do need to turn the AC on, however, make sure to close all windows and doors so that the thermostat isn’t working overtime and wasting unnecessary energy. Another approach could be to keep the AC on all day, but set it at a temperature higher than the current temperature so that it only kicks in when it is really necessary and works in small increments. Don’t wait for it to hit 85 degrees before bringing it down to 75 - that uses a lot of energy! Also, you may want to reconsider what temperature you set your thermostat at, especially at night when it does get a little colder - increasing the temperature by just 1 degree can save a lot of money and energy.
The fun doesn’t stop there, though. Lessen the load on your drying machine by using the warm heat and sunshine to dry your clothes on a clothesline instead! You can also save a lot on indoor light usage by replacing it with sunshine, a free and eco-friendly alternative. With sunrise at around 5 am and sunset at 8 pm here in Connecticut, you can go long hours without even needing to turn the light on thanks to the sun! Also somewhat unrelated, but if you’re not using devices that have been plugged in, especially on vacation, unplug them before you leave! (This also applies to chargers.)
Invest in reusable everyday goods!
As we get out of the house a lot more these days, whether it be for shopping or vacation, it’s super important to stay hydrated. One simple switch you can make is to swap out a plastic water bottle for a reusable one that can easily be refilled and often can hold more water than plastic ones! Just keeping one on hand can be very useful, as you never know when you might need some water - as a very dehydrated person myself, I am in full agreement with this. You may also want to consider keeping a few reusable bags in your car or luggage as well - they’re not only useful for grocery shopping, but they can help you cut down on a lot of waste. Make sure to pack as much of what you already have to bring on vacations, that way you don’t need to keep buying sunscreen or other commonly used goods like that. There are loads of other reusable switches you can make, just scroll through the blog to find some!
Keep your outdoor parties sustainable!
Summer is a time of barbeques and cookouts, but these mass gatherings don’t have to be a burden on the environment! I talked a lot about this in my July 4th post last year, but it’s always a good idea to use reusable or biodegradable dishes instead of single-use plastic cups or plates. Sure, you might have to do more dishes, but it really works out in your favor in the grand scheme of things. (Something funny we do in my family is save plastic utensils and use them as any other reusable utensil - we even wash them with the other ones!) Another good suggestion is to be aware of food waste by cooking only as much food as guests will need (a headcount beforehand might help!) since you can always make more, or send guests home with leftovers if need be!
Make your beach trips eco-friendly!
If you’re planning on hitting the beach this summer, as I know many do, make sure you’re being as sustainable as possible! There are so many ways to do this, some of which include bringing a reusable beach bag and some good-quality flip-flops and sunglasses that will last you a long time! I couldn’t tell you when the last time I bought flip-flops was since I’ve had them for so long without any problems. There are so many great sunglasses brands out there, but one I’ve found interesting (and mentioned before in my eco-friendly brands series) is Sunski - check them out! We also know sunscreen is a must, but you can protect yourself and coral reefs by purchasing a sunscreen that is less likely to damage them. These are more often mineral sunscreens that contain zinc oxide and titanium dioxide to create a physical barrier against UV rays rather than chemical sunscreens that can be toxic to reefs.
Some other good practices when you’re at the beach include leaving the beach the way you came - that means not taking any physical souvenirs like shells with you so as to not disrupt the local ecosystem, but more importantly, not leaving any trash behind! This can be done by avoiding snacks that use plastic / plastic straws, or merely just bringing a garbage bag with you to collect any waste. Let’s keep our beaches clean! Another thing to pay attention to is making sure to flatten any sandcastles or holes you may make so that turtles can safely lay their eggs, so it’s always a good idea to ask if that happens where you are!
Visit the farmer’s market!
If you’ve been around for a while, you know I love advocating for farmer’s markets, and here I am doing it again! If you only visit a farmer’s market once in your life, do it during the summer! The warm weather is the perfect growing season for a lot of fruits and vegetables - I know that my household consumes a lot of fruits during these few months! So, what better way to keep yourself and your local economy fueled by supporting small businesses at a farmer’s market! You can save not only money, but greenhouse gas emissions from transportation as well, and buy so much more than just produce, I’m sure. And, I know nowadays there is so much to do at these events - it can be a great way to connect with your local community!
Consider alternate modes of transportation!
If you’re stuck bored at home, it may be tempting to go out somewhere with your car. However, we all know by now the impacts of transportation on the environment! That being said, I strongly encourage you to research local activities you can get to without a car, whether it be on foot or bike! For example, there is a state trail at a walking distance from my house, so I like to bring my friends there if they’re over! When the weather is especially nice, it can be very relaxing to just take a nice stroll as my mom and I like to do in the evenings all the time.
This can also apply when you’re not at home - the next time you’re out somewhere, try using a bike, electric scooter, or public transportation to get around rather than relying on other vehicles. It’s also a great idea to start looking into carpooling as well!
Spend your summer serving the planet!
A great way to spend time in the summer is by giving back to the environment! You might start your own flower or fruit garden, collect food scraps to compost, or join a park or beach cleanup! These are all fun activities that can be done with friends and family alike - let’s use this free time to our advantage. You can even volunteer at Sustainable Southbury!
Well, that’s all for today! I urge you to implement one or maybe even all of these practices into your daily lives this summer and help contribute towards a healthy planet! Enjoy your summer, everyone, and I’ll see you all next time! Share this post with someone you know to spread the word :)