Sustainable Ideas to Live By This Summer

A new season means a period to try out fun and exciting sustainable ideas that are good for you and the environment. Summer means outdoor fun and new adventures under the sun. It’s the perfect season to go out and have fun, but of course, not at the expense of our environment and the local community. 

If you are looking for ways to live sustainably for the season, or are just curious if there are any sustainable alternatives to practice this season, then you’ve come to the right place. We’ve rounded up all the fun and exciting sustainable ideas you could practice this summer.

Be ready to take some notes as we list down five easy and completely doable sustainable ideas to live by this summer.

 

5 Exciting Sustainable Ideas to Live By This Summer

  1. Switch to a Sustainable Sunscreen

What is summer without any trips to the beach, lake, or rapids? When going out to have some fun in the water, we want to protect our skin as much as possible. Skin cancer and other skin illnesses are no laughing matter. But did you know that we could also help protect the environment by using organic and eco-friendly sunscreen?

According to a 2008 study, many sunscreens available in the market nowadays contain oxybenzone and octinoxate, two chemicals that could contribute heavily to coral bleaching. Even at low concentrations, the presence of these two chemicals in sunscreens damages coral polyps with latent infections and speeds up the release of algae from corals.

Coral bleaching happens when coral polyps expel the algae that live inside of them. Typically, coral polyps and algae live in harmony. Their endosymbiotic relationship is crucial for the health of the coral ecosystem. Coral bleaching disrupts the natural ecosystem and puts coral polyps at significant risk. If this event is not prevented, it could lead to coral death and reef extinction.

Aside from oxybenzone and octinoxate, mineral oil or petrolatum and titanium dioxide are chemicals commonly found in sunscreens that are harmful to marine life. Mineral oil takes years to biodegrade. Titanium dioxide reacts with salt water to form hydrogen peroxide, which is dangerous to all sea life.

And if these chemicals take forever to biodegrade or could harm the environment, think of how dangerous it could be to slather these lotions on your skin.

When shopping for alternative sunscreens, make sure to find a product without any of these chemicals. There are some alternatives you could use when going out to the beach or any body of water.

 

  1. Eat with the Season

One of the sweetest reasons to celebrate and experience the changing of the seasons is the produce you could only get during each specific period. Summer means cherries, plums, and peaches are ripened to perfection. Meanwhile, the produce section is teeming with field-grown cucumbers, tomatoes, and peppers. 

Summer is the best time to go out and explore what your local market and grocery have to offer. Aside from getting them fresh and straight from the farm, these fruits and vegetables sourced locally have way less carbon footprint than those sourced elsewhere. It means these crops have not been brought from other far places globally, thereby cutting down on fuel consumption.

Sustainability also means supporting the ecosystem around you. Aside from cutting down the environmental impact of your shopping, buying local in-season products also helps your local farmers economically. 

  1. Invest in Reusable Water Bottles

Imagine long road trips under the hot summer sun. Just the thought could even make one thirsty. Don’t forget to hydrate and do so by considering the environment. It might be convenient to shop around convenience stores along the way for water in single-use bottles. But think of all the plastic waste.

The world goes through 1 million single-use plastic water bottles in a minute alone. Even worse, 91 percent of this figure does not get recycled or reused. And if you think nothing gets worse than that, the bulk of these plastic wastes end up in our oceans and seas. By 2050, it has been estimated and projected that the amount of plastic waste in the sea will far outweigh the amount of marine life in it.

Even the production of plastic water bottles is very harmful to the environment. Plastic bottles are made from fossil fuels. An ounce of greenhouse gas is emitted from producing an ounce of polyethylene used in creating plastic bottles. That’s 100 million tons of carbon dioxide produced in a year of consuming about 100 million tons of polyethylene. 

This summer, invest in trusty water bottles. There are many insulated water bottles perfect for long road trips available in the market these days. Some companies who produce these reusable bottles even practice their sustainable plan, which is even better. Look up which brands support water sustainability initiatives to make your summer even more sustainable.

  1. Switch to Sustainable and Chic Fashion

We’ve already covered the harsh truth behind plastics. But even worse is how fast fashion rapidly corrupts our environment. The fashion industry produces more than ten percent of the total greenhouse gases in the world. Those chic fashion accessories that would take your summer outfit to the next level might set back our climate action plan by a few months.

It’s a great thing that sustainable fashion is now on the rise. These days, you don’t have to resort to frumpy clothes to reduce your carbon footprint. There are numerous ways to live sustainably without compromising your fashion sense, including eco-friendly alternatives that are all chic and trendy.

For example, did you know that you could look smashing with a pair of wooden sunglasses? These pairs of specs are the most fabulous fashion statement for the season that is chic and sustainable. Made from Canadian wood, this pair of specs will rock in any outfit you choose without hurting the environment.

 

  1. Ditch the Plastic Straws and Cutleries

We know how convenient it is to eat out. No need to worry about preparing the food or washing the dishes, right? But is the price to pay for the convenience worth it? Sure, for you, it might cost you nothing to use a plastic spoon and fork, or even plastic straws to sip on that ice-cold cola. But the environment will bear the brunt of your choice.

By the end of 2021, Canada will ban the use of plastic bags and straws. This initiative is to help the country achieve its sustainability plans by having zero waste by 2030.

Consider switching to more sustainable options. A pair of reusable cutleries and stainless straws are getting more and more available in the market these days. They come in stainless steel materials or the more chic wooden option. There are also straws of varying dimensions, perfect for your smoothie, boba, or juice drink options. The sustainable market has the foresight for all your needs - you only need to grab a pair of these reusable cutleries and straws and use them when eating out. It’s all very convenient.


 

There are numerous exciting activities to do this summer, and one of them is practicing sustainable ideas. Enjoy the outdoors without leaving too much of a carbon footprint. Eat with the season and shop for locally produced items like fruits and vegetables. These options are not just healthy but also very sustainable. Switching to more sustainable alternatives for fashion, skincare, and cutlery has never been this easy. From chic wooden sunglasses to reusable straws, saying goodbye to plastic is painless and convenient.


If you want to get more sustainable ideas (for any time of the year), check out our article on the ten tips you should know about sustainable living.