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7 Practical Ways to Go Green this Summer

Spending more time outside makes us more aware of our environment. Here are some great tips for turning that awareness into action during the summer months.

Spending more time outside makes us more aware of our environment. Here are some great tips for turning that awareness into action during the summer months.

Use Recycles or Reusable Products

Being outdoors in hot weather means everyone needs to drink more water to stay hydrated. Using reusable water bottles instead of disposable bottles will keep you and the environment healthier. Water bottles are just the start: you can also use reusable containers for sandwiches (instead of plastic wrap which isn’t recyclable), snacks (try Itzy Ritzy or LunchSkinz), and pouches for yogurt or fruit purees (try Little Green Pouch or Squooshi.) 

Clean Up Play Spaces

Make it a game to pick up five pieces of litter before you start playing at the park, beach, or playground. Starting the day by improving your environment is a great lesson in appreciating nature and maintaining a happy and healthy community. Leave a few plastic shopping bags (and maybe a set of plastic gloves) in your car for easy access. 

Research Your Food

Next time you take your kids to the food store, ask them to tell you where they think their produce comes from. You might be surprised to find that some staples originate from farther away than you’d guess: grapes from Mexico, bananas from Guatemala, and tomatoes from Canada. Ask your kids to locate where on a world map these foods come from and then take them to one a local farm where they can pick their own. Or go to your local farmers market and buy local, seasonal produce there.          

Reuse Materials for Arts and Crafts

Magazines, egg cartons, paper towel rolls, plastic jars, water bottles…there’s a treasure box full of supplies under your sink, in your garage, or wherever you keep your recyclables. With glue, some paint, and a little imagination, you and your kids can reuse these materials for a fun rainy day activity. Make an octopus from a toilet paper roll, a spider from an egg carton, or a loom from a cereal box, or check Pinterest for other ideas. 

Make a Recycle Box

Not the kind for weekly recycling of plastics, cans and cardboard, but for unused toys and clothes. Anytime that someone puts on something that doesn’t fit, it goes in the recycling box. Are there toys that they have outgrown? Into the recycling box. Older kids can even organize a swap with some of their friends where everyone brings over a bag of clothes or toys for exchange.      

Compost with Worms

Do your kids like playing with insects? Do you have flower beds or a vegetable garden of your own? Consider starting to compost with worms. Using fruit and vegetable scraps, coffee grounds, and some paper in a container with red worms or red wrigglers, you can make your own plants happier and healthier. Plus, kids love worms. Environmental Education for Kids can help get you started.  

Become an Environmental Hero

Choose two to three resource saving ideas to incorporate over the summer and reward them for making them a habit.

  • Put recyclable materials in their proper bins
  • Reduce shower time by 1 minute per shower
  • Turn off the water when brushing your teeth
  • Unplug electronics and chargers that aren’t in use
  • Turn off the lights when you leave a room

Publisher & Editor. Get in touch at sarah@familyfocus.org or connect with me on Twitter and Instagram at @SarahBondffm.

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