We’re tanner, we’re blonder, we’re wearing our favorite flip flops; we’re being our best summer selves. With warmer weather and generally more opportunity to be outside, it wouldn’t hurt to think of some ways we can improve our environmentalist skills. Don’t freak out, our suggestions are pretty simple (they won’t limit your pool time) and they have the potential to be fun and rewarding; yes, fun and rewarding. Challenge Number 1: Do not use a car the whole weekend.
Bear with me on this one. It’s totally doable, and even if a carless weekend seems impossible, a carless day is something to consider. That’s 24 or 48 hours less of CO2 emissions. According to the EPA, a passenger vehicle emits about 4.6 metric tons of carbon dioxide per year. These greenhouse gases are contributing to air pollution and global warming at an alarming rate. Take a hike! No really, try walking everywhere for a day, or ride your bike - even carpooling is an eco-friendly alternative.Challenge Number 2: Go to a beach clean-up or hold your own.
No judgement, I also enjoy the red solo cup drinking games, the smorgasbord of food in plastic bowls eaten with plastic utensils, and the little plastic shovels necessary to build the ultimate sand castle. BUT, how much of this plastic is left on the beach when it’s time to go home. The answer is a lot. This plastic waste is going to end up in the water where it will disrupt ecosystems and generally wreak havoc. Let’s think of the turtles. It’s so easy to grab a few bags and walk up and down the beach picking up garbage. And if your beach going companions are a competitive bunch, try making it a competition. Set a timer and whoever picks up the most garbage in the allotted time wins!Challenge Number 3: Grow a garden and start a composting bin.
Maybe you’re a health god who eats veggies with every meal or maybe you recognize that you can’t only eat bread (@me)... Regardless of your greens consumption, it’s worth considering growing the produce yourself! This saves money, (because a cucumber really shouldn’t be $10.00), but it will also significantly reduce plastic waste (because cucumbers really don’t need to be packaged in 3 layers of plastic). Once you discover your avid inner gardener, you’re going to want to give your plants the healthiest soil possible...because you’re obsessed with them. So, try composting! This will provide the most nutrients for growth and is a great alternative to buying fertilizer. Generally, if you’re looking to get connected to your food; to understand where your food comes from and what labor goes into growing it, this challenge is an awesome first step.