Photo by Quang Nguyen Vinh
Most Eco-friendly Activities To Do in the Summer
16 august ‘22
Do you want to find a way to make your summer activities sustainable?
Well, you came to the right spot. Here are some of the most eco-friendly activities to do this summer.
Words by Rebekah Smith
Photo by Hicret
When the summer heat invades, it can be easy to want to curl up inside an air-conditioned room and indulge in all the habits that make life convenient. But sustainability starts with us – in our homes, communities and wherever we may go. So, how can we commit to sustainable activities that are environmentally and summer friendly?
Summer draws us towards travel of all types. A vacation from school or work provides an opportunity to soak up the sun, swim in the deep ocean waves, take a roadtrip, breathe in the cool mountain air or get involved in the community. Wherever you decide to be present this summer, you can carry the sustainable lifestyle with you.
Sustainability begins with activity, so here are some of our favorite sustainable activities that you can do to care for the environment no matter where you go this summer!
Remember the 5 R’s:
“Refuse: Say no to things that are not environmentally or people-friendly.”
“Reduce: Minimize your environmental input and output. ”
“Re-use: Use it again! ”
“Repurpose: Find a new way to use an old item.”
“Recycle: Give your old items a new life by allowing them to be reprocessed.”
Photo by Rodnae Productions
1. Closet clean-out!
Have old clothes you want to be rid of? Dig through your closet, select the pieces you no longer wear or could live without and find a new home for them! You can donate your pieces to a local thrift store, sell them on social media and shopping apps, or try recycling them through online or local brands that recycle fabrics and similar materials.
2. Switch up your transportation method.
We all know driving cars that run on gas pollutes the air with toxic substances like carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide. The less we spend cruising around in our individual vehicles, the less we put into the environment. So, switch things up! Use a bike to get around town. Take public transportation and carpool with friends, family or coworkers. These vehicles are running anyway; utilize your resources!
Photo by Maria Orlova
3. Clean up beaches
Visit the beach this summer, and pick up any trash you find! Whether you start with three pieces or 30, you are saving marine and human life by removing plastic hazards from the ocean.
Photo by Kampus Production
Photo by Eva Bronzini
4. Start composting
Don’t get rid of your food scraps; use them! If you have food scraps that are edible for your pets, first treat them to a snack to avoid waste. Then, create a compost pile! Composting allows you to give back to the environment by creating natural fertilizer out of organic solid matter.
How do you compost? It’s simple - pick a spot, store your scraps, cover and let the waste decompose! Start with simple fruit and vegetable scraps - sweet potato skins, strawberry tops, tea and coffee grounds. You can also add old flowers or human hair and nails to your pile!
5. Grow a summer garden
Put that compost pile to use and fertilize your own summer garden. Cucumbers, tomatoes, squash, beans and berries are staple summer food items. Instead of spending money on mass-produced fruits and vegetables, invest in some seeds and grow your own. You can give back to the environment while also producing your own fresh foods!
Photo by Anastasia Shuraeva
6. Use recycled materials to make art
Don’t throw away your scrap materials - make art out of them! Make frames or stands from scrap wood, metal or plastic. Repurpose old pins, buttons, flowers, fabric and jewelry by adding them to frames, furnishings, clothing, sculptures, and more.
Photo by Antoni Shkraba
7. Decorate and wear reusable tote bags
Everyone loves a good tote bag! Skip on choosing paper or plastic during your next grocery run, and carry out your goods in a reusable bag instead. Get creative, decorate your own tote, and use it as an everyday, travel or grocery bag. Use your accessories to create sustainable, environmental change!
Photo by Lara Jameson
8. Make laundry and cleaning products at home
In need of a new and sustainable DIY project? Try making your own laundry and cleaning supplies at home this summer. They are simple, cheap and effective – and they are kind to all skin types because they are free of harsh chemicals!
Try making a simple liquid laundry detergent using 1 cup homemade liquid soap, 64 ounces boiling water and 20-30 drops of essential oil of your choosing. Natural all-purpose cleaners are also easy to make! Try using 16 ounces hydrogen peroxide (3%), one half teaspoon pure lavender and lemon essential oils and one-eighth teaspoon pure peppermint oil for a lovely lander mint cleaner.
Photo by Monstera
Photo by Blue Bird
9. Let in some natural light
Reduce the cost and consumption of electricity by opening your curtains and letting the summer sun be your main source of light! You can also reduce electricity use by unplugging cords, chargers and appliances when they aren’t needed.
10. Buy and use only what you need
Consume less by purchasing less. Create a shopping list before going out so you buy only what you know you will use. Reduce consumption of paper, plastic, styrofoam and other non-biodegradable materials by using real dishes and towels, carrying a thermos or reusable cup and straw, and storing food in reusable containers. Also, be aware of how much product you’re using, and consider whether you can make it last longer.
Photo by Olena Bohovyk
11. Reduce paper consumption
Instead of buying and using tons of paper that aid in deforestation and can’t immediately be reused, invest in digital or erasable products for teaching, note-taking and more. Buy electronic books and resources, or visit your local library.
Photo by Wilson Vitorino
12. Invest in biodegradable arts and crafts
If you have kids or plan to attend a festival this summer, purchase or make your own sustainable art supplies. Eco-friendly glitter is a great alternative to average project glitter, which is not biodegradable. Try using fruits and vegetables to make your own colorful, natural paints and stains. You can also use natural elements such as twigs and pine needles to create your own sustainable paint brushes!
Photo by Ekaterina Bolovtsova
13. Reduce meat and fast-fashion consumption
The meat industry produces higher levels of greenhouse gasses, including methane and nitrous oxide, than most methods of transportation. The meat and fast-fashion industries are often unfair to both animals and employees. Support ethical trade markets this summer by thrift shopping, buying local products and trying more plant-based, vegan recipes.
Photo by Cup of Couple
14. Make your own meals at home
Whether you use produce from your own compost-fueled garden or buy local fruits and vegetables, you can spend less money on fast-food and dining products and packaging by making your meals at home. You can even meal prep and carry your food from home to work, or your next event!
Photo by Ella Olsson
Photo by Alina Vilchenko
15. Avoid using plastic straws
Start a new habit: carry a metal or other reusable straw in your everyday bag. You can say no to plastic straws by having a ready-to-use reusable straw.
16. Support green businesses and conservation sites
Whether it’s a brand that makes clothing or other items out of recycled and organic materials – like the many brands we support here at Staiy – or a conservation park, you can support eco-friendly business efforts just by shopping and spending time outside!
17. Buy the “ugly” fruit at the market
It’s simple: the bruised, battered and less colorful produce that we avoid buying at markets usually end up being thrown away. You can likely find a better way to use these foods and reduce their waste. Need an example? Use them to make breads, potpourri or compost!
18. Put rainwater to use
We waste gallons upon gallons of water each year. Next time it rains, set out a bucket – or five – to collect rainwater. Harvesting rainwater helps reduce runoff on a property as well as environmental erosion. Plus, it is clean, fresh water that you can use in your home or garden!
Photo by Teona Swift
Photo by Rene Asmussen
19. Buy new clothes and products only to replace old or recycled ones
Make a new rule for yourself: Only buy new clothes and products after you have donated or recycled old ones. By replacing some of your old clothes or products after you have gotten rid of them, you can maintain or minimize the number of items in your home while furthering the circular economy.
20. Remember the 5 R’s
Refuse: Say no to things that are not environmentally or people-friendly.
Reduce: Minimize your environmental input and output.
Re-use: Use it again!
Repurpose: Find a new way to use an old item.
Recycle: Give your old items a new life by allowing them to be reprocessed.
There are so many sustainable activities you can do this summer to give back to your environment. Whether you stay home or travel, you can try adding any of these sustainable, eco-friendly tasks to your to-do list.
Photo by Karolina Grabowska