Summer should be a time for relaxation and hassle-free days. That said, it’s entirely possible to have a green summer lifestyle that’s blissfully carefree while still protecting the planet!
Soak up Nature for a Green Summer Lifestyle
In my opinion, enjoying the outdoors is the essential way to enjoy a green summer lifestyle. Spending time outdoors isn’t just a frivolous activity. It’s actually good for your health. Research shows that people who spend at least 120 minutes in nature per week report better health and psychological well-being.
While it’s true that every season reveals nature’s beauty, summer’s sunny warmth is a particularly appealing invitation to head outdoors. You don’t have to spend a lot of money or go far to connect with nature.
Take a Hike, Near or Far
If you’d prefer to stay close to home, get up early to see the sunrise, or if you aren’t an early bird, try an after dinner walk to enjoy the sunset.
Extend your time outdoors with a campout. It doesn’t have to be an elaborate affair – a simple overnight campout in your back yard can be an exciting experience, particularly for young children. If you’re new to it all, try an organized trip. There are several guided camping companies to choose from, including REI, Backroads, or OARS.
Protect Your Body (Naturally) When Outside
A green summer lifestyle is ideally one spent outdoors. As you head out the door remember to protect yourself from the elements – naturally, of course!
Natural Bug Repellents
With a little advance planning you can repel pesky pests, like mosquitoes and ticks, without using toxic chemical repellents that harm both people and the environment. Try my tips, along with my natural product picks, for natural mosquito and natural tick repellents. You’ll be on your way to a healthy and safe summer without a lot of bug bites.
Prolonged exposure to the sun can be damaging to your skin and even cause cancer. Protect yourself from the sun in ways that are healthy for you and the environment. Read more in my recent post about sunscreen. It covers why eco friendly sunscreens are important, what to look for in sunscreen products, and my list of eco friendly sunscreen picks.
Remember, while sunscreen is important, it’s not the only line of defense against the sun’s harmful rays. Use it in conjunction with other methods of limiting sun exposure:
- Covering up.
- Avoiding the sun when UV exposure is greatest – between 10am and 4pm.
- Wearing a hat and sunglasses.
- Staying in the shade, when possible.
Work on Your Green Thumb
With all that time spent outside, it’s hard to know whether the surfaces we’re walking, rolling and lying on are actually healthy and safe. You may not know what’s on your neighbor’s lawn, but you can definitely control what you put in your yard.
Whether your yard is large or small, a healthy yard, free of synthetic chemicals, is one that you and your family and friends can enjoy (safely!) all summer for a truly green summer lifestyle. (The birds and bees will also thank you for it!)
Be a Sustainable Traveler
Summer is a perfect time to leave the car at home and bike or walk to nearby destinations. You’ll get some exercise, enjoy the warm weather, and reduce your carbon footprint in the process. You’ll also save some money in gas bills!
For longer trips, instead of hopping on a plane, consider traveling by train or car. Another option is to vacation closer to home with a staycation.
If air travel is a must, try making the trip more carbon neutral by purchasing a carbon offset to lessen the greenhouse gas impact of your flight.
Reduce Disposable Waste
The easiest way is to choose reusable products over single-use disposable options. So, for summer entertaining use reusable cutlery, plates and cups.
When you’re out and about, remember your reusable shopping bag(s), bottle and containers. Want a straw for your iced coffee or tea? Say no to plastic straws and choose reusable alternatives instead.
When you do generate waste, dispose of it responsibly and recycle right. My post on recycling myths will help you do that!
Take the Time to Unwind to Inspire Creativity
What I love most about summer is the free time to just let my mind wander, whether it’s while walking through our local wildlife sanctuary or just sitting on my back porch. It’s a relief to completely disconnect from the myriad tech devices that distract and divert my attention.
What I’ve discovered while I’m vegging is that ideas and solutions to my (many) problems pop into my head. Apparently, our brains need to “meander” in order to recharge and spark new ideas.
What does all this mean for you and a green summer lifestyle? Well, while you’re relaxing on the beach or porch, take some time to let your mind wander. Who knows, you might be inspired to get creative and start a new (green) initiative … in the fall!