Sustainable living is important at all times, even when the sun is high and there are fun things to do. Fortunately, there are many examples of sustainable living that can be jump started in the summer months. Equipped with these 7 sustainable living ideas, you can still have fun all summer—while saving money and our planet in the process!
7 Ideas for Sustainable Living in the Summer
1. Enjoy the season’s bounty
There’s no time of the year with as much flavor and nutrition than summer!
Get to know what fruits and vegetables are in season in your area of the world. Then, see how you can source them as sustainably as possible (i.e. from a farmers’ market, through a CSA scheme, or by growing them yourself!).
For most of us in the US, we can enjoy the following sustainable summer recipes:
2. Leave the car keys at home
When it comes to ways to be sustainable in everyday life, using alternative transportation is one of the best things we can do. Summer is the perfect time to start to walk, cycle, or take public transportation to work, school, or local errands.
This practice can curb your transportation emissions, save you money, and improve your health!
Once you realize the benefits of car-less transportation, you’ll likely want to continue the practice. Established while the weather is nice, getting in the habit of this new routine may help you continue it year-round—even when the weather isn’t as great.
3. Use the longer days to learn more
If you’re heading to the beach or the pool, be sure to bring some sustainable living books with you.
We’d recommend Zero Waste Home, as it’s a great introduction to low-waste living. Featuring step-by-step instructions, it’s ideal for anyone wanting to save money, improve their health, and support the future of our planet.
Drawdown is the first and only book to explore 100 solutions to global warming by highlighting the research-backed energy and economic savings of each innovative approach.
It might not be the uplifting book you’re after, but The Uninhabitable Earth: Life After Warming is a must-read for anyone wanting to know why we need to take climate action NOW.
Summer’s also a perfect time to relax during a movie night with loved ones or snuggle up under the stars with an outdoor projector.
2040 is an amazing documentary that highlights how a more sustainable future might look.
David Attenborough’s A Life on Our Planet highlights what we’ll lose if we don’t take steps toward a more sustainable future.
This Changes Everything is based on the book with the same title by Naomi Klein. It allows us to envision what a better world could look like and explores the radical change that’s needed to get there.
4. Try to get a little more comfortable with the heat
Not only does the A/C rack up a pretty hefty bill during the hot summer months, but it’s a big contributor to climate change, too.
HVAC units produce greenhouse gas emissions and they leak hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), which have a global warming potential that’s thousands of times higher than carbon dioxide. For these reasons, it’s estimated that 25% of global warming will be a result of air conditioners by 2050.
You can take steps to prevent this now by raising the temperature on your thermostat. The EPA recommends that you increase your thermostat by 7℉ when the home is unoccupied and by 4℉ when everyone’s asleep.
They also suggest an indoor setpoint temperature of 78℉. The closer the temperature is to the outdoor temperature, the better it will be for our planet (and your wallet!). Running a fan in the room that you’re in will provide even more eco-friendly cooling.
5. Use the sun instead of the clothes dryer
You may remember reading in our eco-friendly laundry guide that a clothes dryer produces thousands of pounds of carbon emissions annually. Not only that, but it contributes to premature aging of our favorite clothes, too.
What better time than the summer to get a clothes line and those long-lasting clothes clips you’ve always thought about? You’ll cut down on your utilities, prevent the release of emissions, and have clothes that smell fresh!
6. Pack some reusable bags for your summer trips
It’s hard to know where each summer adventure might end up. So, when you head off on your bike or pack for a vacation, be sure to bring a reusable bag.
Not only are they a stylish way to carry summertime essentials like a bottle of water, your passport, and your favorite pair of sunglasses, but they make it easy to say “no” to a plastic bag when you stock up on snacks or souvenirs.
7. Switch to eco-friendly sunscreen
Unfortunately, protecting our skin has come at the cost of marine life. When sunscreen washes off as we sweat or play in the water, it means that thousands of harmful chemicals are released, threatening coral reefs and leading to damage for fish and other marine species.
The good news is that many brands are aware of this now, too. Fortunately, it’s simple to get eco-friendly sunscreen for babies, kids, and adults that won’t harm reefs and other marine life— but will protect your skin against harmful UVA and UVB rays!
Enjoy Summer and Sustainability
Green Eco Dream is the sustainable living online shop here to help you year-round. We hope these summer-ready sustainable living ideas help you out as you enjoy the longer days and the warm weather.
If you need some sustainable summer essentials, shop with code BLOG10 and save 10% on your first order!
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