So you want to enjoy your summer, but you also want to have a more earth-friendly summer and you’re not sure if those 2 things can coexist, right?
Oh…and you have kids.
I want you to know that it is 100% possible to have a more earth friendly summer with kids and enjoy it, too!
It’s not as hard as you think, either.
Here are a few simple ways you can make your summer a little greener and have a more earth-friendly summer, while also having fun with your kids:
BYOS (Bring Your Own Snacks)
I know it’s super convenient to get those individually packed snacks in those Costco-sized boxes that will last all summer long, through camp and family adventures alike. The problem is that those snacks result in a lot of waste. Those wrappers are used just the one time before they’re thrown away. There’s also a lot of energy used to make them, package them, and get them to the store. You know what’s better? Packing snacks in reusable snack bags and containers. One of my favorites is Lunchskins, but there are lots out there.
Ditch the Juiceboxes, too.
You can pack water or juice in reusable, kid-sized bottles. Stainless steel ones are great for kids, but if you feel you absolutely have to get plastic, make sure it’s durable, BPA-free, and will last more than one summer!
Shower/Bathtime Less Often
I know, I know…this is a hard one for a lot of people. Especially in the summer because it’s hot and we sweat and we’re all worried about freaking out the people around us with how we smell.
Here’s the deal: It’s actually healthier for your skin and your hair to wash it less. The more you wash, the more you dry out your skin and hair. You need all the moisture you can get during the summer.
Also, if your kids are anything like mine, they spend most the summer at the local splash pad or the pool or the beach. They’re getting plenty clean there. So an actual bath twice a week to wash their hair is not completely insane.
If you really feel gross, of course shower. Or use a wet washcloth and give yourself a good sponge bath.
DIY Popsicles (instead of store bought)
Who doesn’t love popsicles as the perfect summertime icy sweet treat? The problem with store bought popsicles is that they are each individually wrapped in plastic. What a drag, right?
Good new is that making delicious popsicles at home is super easy. You can reuse the popsicle molds for a really long time before having to retire them. And as an extra bonus, they generally have less sugar than the store bought ones. And you can use seasonal fruit! And your kids can get involved. Really, it’s a win-win scenario.
Here are a few of my personal favorites from my recipe archives:
Keep Your A/C at a more Reasonable Temperature
Have you ever noticed how cold some houses feel during the summer? I mean, I’m talking like arctic-level temperatures. I feel like I need to pack sweaters and legwarmers when I go to those houses. No house really needs to be that cold in the summer.
First, it’s hard on your body going from very hot outside to very cold inside.
Second, it’s hard on the planet.
We keep our house at about 80 degrees during the day. Sometimes 78 if it gets a little too stuffy. At night, we set the A/C to 76, mostly to help us sleep.
Fans are great to have, too.
BYOWB (Bring Your Own Water Bottle)
Are you not doing this yet? I know plastic water bottles are “convenient.” They are also one of the least necessary items to purchase or use. Just quit it with the plastic water bottles.
Plus, having bottles for your kids is great for so many reasons. It teaches them to be responsible for their own things. It teaches them that not everything is disposable. Super important lessons to learn young.
Just please go get your kids (and yourself!) a few stainless steel or glass water bottles. Have enough for your car, for your house, for your beach bag…just have a reusable bottle!
An Electricity-Free Night!
So I actually love this idea, even though we haven’t done it yet in the summertime. We’re going to, though.
This is actually our traditional on the winter solstice and I think it’s a great summer activity for kids, too. Basically, when it gets dark, you don’t use electricity. No lights, no screens — nothing powered by a plug.
The sun does stay in the sky longer, so it’s not a huge sacrifice, necessarily.
That said, you can also turn it into camping under the stars in your backyard.
Or reading books with flashlights.
Or going for evening stargazing walks.
The electricity-free night is your oyster.
Make it fun and maybe even an opportunity to talk to your kids about how we don’t always need screens, lights, or modern technology to have a good time.
These are my top tips to have a more earth-friendly summer with your kids. I’d love to hear your suggestions, too! Leave them in the comments and let’s inspire each other!