Follow these 10 tips from Recyclebank to keep your carbon footprint to a minimum during the hot summer months.
1. Ditch the school supplies. But don¹t just stick them in the trash: Inspect all those books, pencils and backpacks and decide what can be saved (a few tests and pieces of artwork), reused (barely-used notebooks) and restored (backpacks — even those with some wear and tear can be fixed up with a vacuuming and some patches!). Of course, some school supplies should just be recycled (like worksheets, and even some books).
2. Tomatoes, tomatoes, tomatoes! Enjoy the season¹s delicious produce! Visit the farmers market, check out the vegetables and herbs available, and then stretch your purchase by using the produce wisely. Use fresh ingredients in multiple meals and drinks, and store produce so that it lasts as long as possible. Leafy herbs, for example, do best trimmed and stored in a jar filled with an inch or so of water.
3. Keep cool with homemade popsicles. Something as simple as freezing a basket of berries gives you something to snack on and creates a fun alternative to ice cubes. The homemade treats can save on packaging waste, and you¹ll be able to make them as healthy (or not!) as you want.
4. Stay hydrated with a reusable water bottle. Keep cool in style with your own reusable water bottle and you¹ll save countless plastic ones this year and save money by refilling it everywhere you go instead of buying new ones.
5. Recycle and reuse in the outdoors. It’s as important to recycle while you’re out as it is to recycle at home. If your outdoor destination doesn¹t have recycling bins, be sure to pack up your waste and bring it back home so that it gets disposed of properly. Of course, you can also use fewer disposable items in the first place.
6. Choose natural repellents. Look into natural repellants that will save you the bottles and bottles of bug spray. Get plants, like marigolds, that are natural repellents, burn citronella candles, or make your own repellant with essential oils. A simple electric fan can be very effective at keeping pests like mosquitos away.
7. Take to the water like a natural. Be it the beach, the pool, or the backyard, enjoying water usually requires a lot of things with limited lifespans. Choose green bathing suits and hang-drying towels. Keeping cool in the yard can be as simple as a hose and a colander to help “make it rain” and with water toys straight from the kitchen, you can ditch the plastic water toys going forward.
8. Play equipment-less outdoor games. When boredom strikes, don’t let the shopping bug (or kids’ begging and pleading) get to you. From tag to Red Rover, there are a plethora of outdoor games that don¹t require equipment.
9. Get crafty. Combat boredom by crafting some awesome (and useful) things using items you were bound to toss anyway. Turn empty glass pickle jars into garden lanterns or terrariums. (The bonus to reusing glass jars: Upcycling glass can be even better for the environment than recycling glass.)
10. Make your own souvenirs. Instead of buying disposable souvenirs from vacations, start a scrapbook or keep a map for a memento that¹s more meaningful and less likely to be trashed.