This is the perfect time to think about how you can be more sustainable during the summer months. With the longer days, warmer temperatures and hopefully your schedule more relaxed, you can take on the following green habits to reduce waste and minimize your carbon footprint. Here are some tips to make your summer more sustainable.
Use a non-chemical sunscreen
Most sunscreens contain harmful chemicals that harm both your skin and the environment. This does not mean we should skip applying sunscreen, as we need the extra protection against the harmful sun rays. Look for safer sunscreens, avoiding ingredients like oxybenzone, retinyl palmitate or parabens, and go for mineral protections. Also make sure to stay safe from the sun by seeking shade and wearing protective clothing.
Use fans instead of the air conditioning
Keep your house cool with a fan rather than AC as it uses 90% less energy since it just moves air around, without using energy to cool it. Try put a bowl of ice in front of the fan, to help cool the air.
Use your reusable bag
If you are going away for a couple of days this summer, make sure to pack your reusable bag with you as you will always need to purchase some groceries. They are foldable, light and easily fit into your travel bag.
Buy food locally
Buy your seasonal produce from the Farmers’ Market and ensure that the fruit and vegetables haven’t traveled a long distance to reach your plate. This will also help support the local farming community and you’ll get to choose from a vibrant array of fresh, seasonal produce. Also, prepare more home-made meals, avoiding processed foods which is cheaper and healthier than eating out.
Reduce use of disposable dinnerware
Summer is synonymous with picnics and barbecues. Make sure to always have your own cutlery and plates to avoid all the unnecessary disposable waste.
Don’t waste water
The demand for water increases over the summer months so be responsible in how you use it. Check out our previous article on how to reduce water waste in the kitchen for more information.
Reduce your travelling carbon emissions
One of the positive points of the pandemic is that we have reduced air travel which is very harmful for the environment. However, if you do have the opportunity to travel abroad for a holiday, opt for using public transport, including trains or rent a bike instead of a car. This solution is good for the environment and for your health.
Choose eco-friendly clothing
If you need to revamp your wardrobe for the summer month, look for eco-friendly options. Check out the labels to see if the fabrics and dyes are eco-friendly or if it has been upcycled. You can also find some great secondhand options, to give garments a second chance at a much cheaper price.
Try a vegan barbecue
Barbecues are not just for meat eaters! Meat production is one of the leading causes of climate change. There are so many meat-free options, such as chickpea burgers, tofu skewers, plant-based meat, veggie kebabs and more that you can try.
Help with a beach clean up
Why not help out the local groups who organize regular beach clean ups to help protect our beaches and make sure that all the waste gets disposed of correctly and doesn’t end up in the sea.
Now is the time to play your part and form these good habits to make your summer more sustainable.
Source: 10 Simple Tips To Have A More Eco-Friendly Summer, 2018, www.yogaweeks.com/eco-friendly-summer [Accessed 10 May 2021].
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