Ahh…it’s finally summertime! The sun is shining, the birds are chirping, vacation days are booked and you’re ready to have a well-deserved and fun-filled season.
While this all seems positive and joyful, there’s a downside to it too.
The spontaneity of the summer season often leads to poor planning and excessive waste. In fact, plastic waste goes up 40% during the summertime (Euronews, 2019). We already know that plastic waste is a huge problem. That isn’t new information. But knowing it can take 500-1,000 years for plastic to decompose might make you think a bit differently about the urgency of the matter (or at least we hope it does).
Here’s the great news: With a little planning and care, summer can once again be a beautiful thing. Here are some easy tips to have a minimal-waste, plastic-free summer.
Going Camping or Hiking?
Making Sure You’re Hydrated
Opt to bring refillable water bottles or even reusable jugs rather than plastic, single-use ones. They look nicer, stay colder for longer, and are often easy to store and comfortable to hold.
Cooking Away From Home
Use reusable dishes and cutlery for cooking. This will also save you money on the next trip!
Cleaning Up After Yourself
It can be tempting to bring disposable cleaning wipes or paper towels with you on an outdoor adventure because let’s face it, it’s the simplest option. It’s also taking the easy way out when really, the alternative isn’t that much more work. We recommend taking reusable cloths with you. This can be dishcloths, old towels, rags, swedish discloths, you name it! You’ll need to do laundry when you get home anyways, what’s the harm in a few tiny additions?
Feeding Yourself and Your Family in a Green, Responsible Way
This is always the dreaded one! Preparing food for friends or family can seem daunting at the best of times but we assure you there’s a few simple things you can do to make the meal plan/preparation greener and simpler!
- Purchase food with minimal packaging when you can.
- Fill containers with water and freeze them overnight to create ice blocks (these last much longer than cubes, too!)
- If you want to save money, eat healthy and have a little fun, we recommend making your own snacks! You can make trail mix, granola bars, muffins, and more!
- Food prep! Get your meals pre-cut and ready for quick cooking/eating. When doing this, you can package everything up in reusable containers or beeswax food wraps to keep everything fresh.
Visiting a New Town or City?
If you have the opportunity to visit a new place this summer, don’t miss out on checking out their local farmers market! You’ll be able to find local, in-season produce and delicious handmade treats. Every farmers market is unique—so don’t miss out on the goodies they have to offer!
Remember not to jump out of the car without getting your reusable shopping bags and produce bags first, though! They are cute, trendy, much more sturdy than a plastic bag, and easier to carry while you shop around.
Taking a Road Trip?
You have the luxury of space if you’re traveling by vehicle! So, why not use it for good instead of harm?
- Bring reusable cups for coffee and specialty drinks (many shops will even offer you a discount if you bring your own cup so don’t forget to ask!)
- Bring reusable water bottles to stay hydrated.
- Bring your own toiletries instead of using the hotel samples (this is better for your hair and skin PLUS you’ll be saving on pointless plastic waste).
- Pack snacks in reusable containers or resealable bags.
See? It’s not so hard after all! You can still have a great summer while reducing your impact on the environment.
The benefit? You’ll be saving money and you will also feel good and productive from your preparation and planning! Plus, you’ll be helping to make the earth a greener place.
Have any questions? Don’t hesitate to reach out!