Eco-Friendly Summer Ideas
Happy Friday! This has been on my mind, and I wanted to create a post about it for several weeks now. After several draft versions, I kept coming back to this: I wanted something fresh and positive to empower us to make sustainable changes for ourselves and and the environment. Because feeling bad about something doesn’t lead to lasting results. When we think about our impact on the environment, I want to focus on hope, effectiveness, and feeling good about our actions.
The biggest threat to our future when it comes to environmental issues is pollution, plastic, and toxins. Yes, this is just my opinion, but think about it… contaminating the planet with plastic, carcinogens, and so forth not only harms the Earth and wildlife, but damages our bodies in ways that absolutely terrifies me. Every action matters. No one is perfect, but the more conscious we become, the better it is for all of us… and what better time than the summer to practice being more eco friendly?
I worked hard to not just write about the same old stuff. Read on, and be sure to leave your ideas in the comments.
Here are my top recommendations:
Switch to reef safe sunscreen… even if you’re not swimming near a reef. You want the active ingredient to be non-nano uncoated zinc oxide. I love this one. Chemicals in most sunscreen destroy reefs, harm animals, and hurt our delicate ecosystems, not to mention are bad for us and have been linked to things like cancer. What you put on your skin ends up inside your body and contaminates the environment.
Just say no to pool floats. They’re fun. They’re insta-worthy. All of that… but they don’t last very long and they are not recyclable… I bought one of those giant unicorn floats maybe 5-6 years ago, and it only lasted a couple months. It was really a pain to be honest, and guess where that plastic unicorn is living out the rest of it’s sad deflated life? A landfill. Please learn from my mistake.
Stop buying synthetic clothing, especially anything made from plastic. Things like fleece or shirts made from plastic bottles… when you wash them it breaks down the fibers and releases micro-particles of plastic that ends up in our water. These particles are so small that they cannot be filtered out. Opt for cotton or hemp. If you don’t believe me, google it. Patagonia has put out a ton of research on this.
Stop using plastic water bottles. Make buying one something for an emergency like when you or someone absolutely needs water, there is no other choice, and the zombies are coming. Get yourself a reusable water bottle, and make your best effort to fill that baby up and use it. Did you know that it’s common for recycling centers to actually not even recycle plastics? And where I live on the Emerald Coast, recycling is not easy for people, especially guests. Here we have drop off stations scattered about, but that is so not convenient for people visiting here. And convenience usually wins.
Bring your own reusable straw. Support businesses that use paper straws. Or try drinking by bringing your lips to the edge of the cup! Plastic straws simply suck. Get a reusable one here, and while you’re shopping for a reusable straw, check out these bamboo utensils to cut back on even more single use plastic.
Shop at your local farmers market, and bring your own bags for produce and all your goodies (like these). Bringing my own produce bags, whether the grocery store or market, is something I am working on personally. It’s hard to remember them, and it’s okay if you forget. Just do the best you can and make an effort! By shopping locally you are supporting your local economy and neighbors, and your food wasn’t shipped from miles and miles away.
Simply put, pick up your trash. You’d be shocked how many people don’t pick up after themselves when they leave the beach. Pack it in, pack it out. This goes for things that break down eventually, too, like banana peels, sunflower seeds, and so forth — think about it, do you want to sit in a spot littered with decomposing food?
Eat more vegan meals. Eating vegan is by far the more environmentally friendly way to eat. Every veggie meal makes a difference. Try swapping out your lunches with a vegan meal that keeps you full and energized all day long.
Just buy less. Do you really need all the things that eventually end up at the landfill?
I’m general, just be more mindful of what you use, what you throw out, and where your money goes. It is as simple as that. Make an effort because your actions matter.
Have a beautiful weekend, guys.