When summer comes along, your first instinct may be to jump in the pool or hold a barbecue. That’s completely natural! However, you may want to do some thinking beforehand. Specifically, you should consider how your activities may affect the environment. If you want to become more sustainable during this time, here are five ways to have an eco-friendly summer.

1. Avoid Wasting Water

Water is an essential element to focus on when it comes to sustainability. This is especially prevalent in summer, mainly because the heat causes people to use more water than usual. If you can, try to pay attention to your personal water usage. In the event that you can minimize your usage, do so. For instance, if you’re thinking about installing a pool, try to find one that conserves water and uses fewer chemicals. Try searching for “pool builders near me” and look for eco-friendly options. You can also make careful measurements when you need to clean or water something. Finally, pay special attention to your showers. In summer it’s tempting to shower frequently. However, this only contributes to water waste. Try to shower around once a day.

2. Change Your Sunscreen

Unfortunately, the sunscreen you’re used to using may be harmful to the environment. Several sunscreen brands, particularly the most popular ones, contain dangerous chemicals. This includes retinyl palmitate, parabens and oxybenzone. While you certainly shouldn’t avoid wearing sunscreen, especially if you live in a sunny area, you should try to find less dangerous brands. You may also want to avoid aerosol sunscreen. Despite its ease of use, this type of sunscreen can be highly detrimental to the environment. Stick with lather-on brands.

3. Use Less Air-Conditioning

When summer comes around, it’s natural to use more air-conditioning. After all, you don’t want to be sweltering in your home or workplace! However, using excessive amounts of air-conditioning isn’t eco-friendly. Look for ways to reduce your heat without resorting to AC. A great way to do this is by using fans. While fans still involve an electrical component, the items use very little energy. It can also be refreshing to feel air moving right next to you. If a fan doesn’t help, you may want to try opening some windows. This can be especially effective during a windy day. In extreme cases, try using washcloths soaked in cold water. Just be sure to avoid getting yourself sick.

4. Try Vegan Summer Food

Summer food can be delicious when done right. However, eating in the summer often involves events like grill-outs, which typically use a lot of animal products. Utilizing meat and dairy can be harmful to the environment. Therefore, you may want to experiment with eating vegan meals during the summer. Fortunately, veganism doesn’t necessarily equate to eating nothing but salads. You can create vegan versions of practically any popular dish. For instance, you could replace most types of meat with tofu or tempeh! Experiment with spices and sauces to get the best taste possible.

5. Get Reusable Dishes and Utensils

Summer tends to involve eating out or having outside food events. Unfortunately, both of these activities tend to involve disposable dishware and utensils. This includes items like paper plates and plastic utensils. Using these products can be very harmful to the environment, particularly when used with food. If there are remnants of food caked on a plastic product, it’s unlikely that the item can be recycled. To remedy this issue, try bringing your own set of reusable items. While carrying ceramic plates around may be a burden, the effort can make a difference in the long run.

If you’re worried about missing out on your favorite summer activities, don’t be! There are lots of ways to have fun in the sun without hurting the environment. All you need to do is stay aware and conduct some research. If you remain thorough, you may have a fun-filled and eco-friendly summer!

 Author: Finnegan Pierson