15 Jun 10 Simple Tips to Have a More Eco-Friendly Summer
With summer fast approaching, we all crave some free time and hot days to enjoy the beach, soak up the sun, chill out by the lake, have backyard barbecues and spend time with friends and family. But being on holiday also mean that we will get out of the routine of recycling, composting, etc.
So how can we continue to save energy during the summer?
Follow our 10 simple tips to make your summer a little more eco-friendly!
1. Swap your standard sunscreen for a non-chemical version
A lot of sunscreens actually contain harmful chemicals that pollute your skin and the environment. But it’s not a reason to totally skip it as sunscreen shields your skin from the harsh rays of the sun.
A good idea might be to look for safer sunscreens, avoiding ingredients like oxybenzone, retinyl palmitate or parabens, and go for mineral protections.
In addition to use sunscreen, don’t forget to seek shade during the day and wear protective clothing. This is especially important for kids who tend to have sensitive skin.
2. Use fans instead of the air conditioning
Since a fan just moves air around it uses 90% less energy than central air conditioning units and still keep your house cool during summer.
To beat the heat even on hotter days you can also place a bowl of ice in front of the fan, allowing the breeze from the fan to blow onto the ice cubes and blow out cooler air.
3. Carry your own reusable shopping bags
Skip the plastic and bring your own reusable cloth shopping bag even on holidays. Foldable and light, they won’t increase the weight of your luggages but will be of great use when going for grocery shopping on your holiday destination.
4. Buy food locally
Find out when the local Farmers’ Market is being held and ensure that the veggies you’re eating haven’t traveled thousands of miles just to reach your plate. You’ll help support small farms, which usually use organic farming methods, and you’ll get to choose from a vibrant array of fresh, seasonal produce.
In addition, we suggest you get away from processed foods and start making more meals at home, it’s cheaper and healthier that eating out.
5. Reduce use of plastic disposable dinnerware
Summer means picnics and barbecues and disposable foodware is usually the common choice of convenience. This summer, instead of buying dinnerware, why not asking your friends and family to bring their own plates and cutlery? This will help to reduce the amount of waste from paper or plastic disposables.
Another option could be to prepare finger foods (no need for plates) and use biodegradable napkins.
6. Don’t waste water
Saving water saves money but it also minimise the amount of additional water resources being taking out of our rivers and aquifers, especially as demands are rising.
There are a number of ways to save water at home or during our holidays such as:
- Don’t overwater your garden
- Wash your fruits and vegetables in a pan of water instead of running water from the tap
- Don’t leave the tap running freely when you brush your teeth or wash your hands
- Shorten your shower by a minute or two
- Upgrade older toilets with water efficient models
- Collect water from your roof to water your garden
7. Offset your carbon emissions by traveling by road or rail
Choose a “green getaway” and travel by public transportation or car instead of flying. Carbon emissions from trains are indeed less damaging to the environment than those of airplanes because train emissions are not released directly into the upper atmosphere.
And once you reached your destination, walk or ride your bike instead of using your car. It is good for the environment and for your health.
8. Look for eco-friendly clothing and skin care
If you are thinking of revamping your wardrobe before the holidays, consider eco-friendly options using low-impact dyes, organic pesticide-free cotton and upcycled natural materials. From clothes to shoes and accessories, more and more brands are becoming increasingly mindful of how their products are actually made and offer fashion-forward eco-friendly clothing lines.
The same thing is happening with cosmetic companies that offer forward-thinking, eco-conscious natural beauty products and skincare. It’s time to replace those high chemical skin care products with something better for your body (and the planet)!
9. Try vegan barbecue
Meat production is one of the leading causes of climate change in part because of the huge amounts of water, grain and other resources required to feed animals.
Fortunately, barbecues aren’t just for meat-eaters! Nowadays, there are lots of meat-free options including vibrant veggies, sizzling skewers and flavour-packed burgers to enjoy a nice vegan barbecue.
Chickpeas burgers, tofu skewers, veggie kebabs, seitan barbecue ribs… Why not give it a go?