Your Guide to a Sustainable Summer

Children Enjoying Beach - Vintage Photo for Sustainable Summer Blog

What's better than a hot girl summer? How about a sustainable one. Just because things are heating up doesn't mean you should cool off on your sustainability efforts. Here's some tips to keep earth a priority when summer is in full swing.

  1. Farmer's markets rule.
  • While it's convenient to enjoy produce on your schedule, shopping fresh has a lot of added benefits.  Grab some sunnies, throw on your farmers market fit, and try out local.
  • Did you know: Food in the U.S. travels an average of 1,500 miles to get to your plate? All this shipping uses large amounts of natural resources (especially fossil fuels), contributes to pollution, and creates trash with extra packaging. Most food found in grocery stores is grown using pesticides, hormones, antibiotics, and genetic modification. These practices have been linked to a decrease in biodiversity, as well as a downturn of the populations of some pollinating insects.
  • In contrast, most food found at the farmers market is grown with limited processing to ensure quality, nutritious produce. Because farmers markets have fruits and vegetables at the peak of the growing season, you are going to see an heirloom variety of produce at its freshest (and tastiest). Not to mention, the food is typically grown near where you live, not thousands of miles away.
  • Next time you’re craving some fresh strawberries, or let’s be honest, strawberry shortcake, take a visit to your local farmer’s market.
  1. Wear your sunscreen (always).
  • Looking for the perfect born-this-way bronze but ended up with more of a too hot to touch tomato? Anyone who has sustained a bad enough sunburn is familiar with the religious application of sunscreen that follows. But what about the rest of the year? Sunscreen is more than an addition to your beach-bag -- it's a part of your daily essentials. Statistics show that by age 70, one in five Americans will develop skin cancer. Not only does daily sunscreen use reduce this statistic significantly, but it also helps with cosmetic concerns such as signs of aging, skin inflammation, and sunspots.
  • Although sunscreen is a necessary step in your skin care routine, it can have detrimental effects on the environment. Sunscreen ends up in the ocean and other waterways after you swim or shower it off. Common sunscreen ingredients like oxybenzone and octinoxate can harm coral reefs and sea creatures, and have even been banned in Hawaii.
  • When searching for your next daily sunscreen, consider opting for mineral and biodegradable options. Rather than use chemicals that end up back in the environment, mineral sunscreen employs natural ingredients to protect skin from sun damage. The formula sits on the outer layer of the skin rather than fully absorbing and entering the bloodstream like chemical sunscreen.
  • Versed Guards Up Daily Mineral Sunscreen is a lightweight option that is great for all skin shades leaving zero white cast. The packaging is also made of 79% post-consumer plastics.
  • Burn the bridge with your sunscreen free summer and do your skin & the sea a favor.

  1. Wander responsibly.
  • In need of a vacation long enough to forget your work passwords? Jump in line! Summer is peak season to travel and explore -- from the far reaches of the world, to the corners of your neighborhood. Unfortunately, your vacay isn’t exactly a walk in the park for the environment. Increased air travel, and even car travel, leads to higher carbon emissions. It's estimated that aviation accounts for roughly 2% of total global greenhouse gases. There are several options to help reduce this.
  • If traveling locally, opt for mass transit or cycling. By increasing ridership on public transit, more fuel is conserved, air pollution decreases, and the region's carbon footprint is reduced. If your area doesn't offer mass transit, try carpooling. Coming back from a late night out? Instead of selecting Uber XL, try their ride-share program.
  • If you're hoping for some out-of-country adventures, we understand cycling may not be the best option. If you decide to fly, use Google Flights tool to view flight emissions. Directly next to the flight fare, passengers can view the exact kilograms of CO2 that are emitted from their travel. The lower the number the better. Google will even highlight the flights that are using less emissions than typical for that route, so your footprint is clearly communicated.
  • You can’t buy happiness, but you can buy a low-emission plane ticket, which is kind of the same thing.

  1. Stay hydrated.
  • Sweat is our body’s way of keeping our cool, but in the sweltering summer heat, sweating makes us particularly at risk for dehydration. This makes it essential for us to drink more water. If you haven’t invested already, a reusable water bottle is the best way to not only stay hydrated, but also decrease single use waste.
  • There are tons of options available, from basic models found at drugstores, to splurge purchases that manage to purify your water for you (check out Larq). Considering the average person drinks about 8 cups of water daily, ditching plastic water bottles for reusable alternatives not only diverts four water bottles from a landfill every day (1,460 a year), but is more affordable in the long run as well.
  • Don’t sweat summer hydration – quench your thirst with reusable water bottles.

There’s no snooze button for saving the planet. Don’t lose your sustainability cool in the heat of summer. Instead, let brighter days light your way to small changes that make a big impact.





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