How are you practicing sustainability in your daily life? Longer days and warmer weather provide excellent opportunities to save energy and practice sustainability to help make the world greener and healthier.
Here are our top 6 tips for practicing sustainability on your summer adventures:
Choose greener transportation
We encourage biking to work in all seasons, but unless you have the right gear for icy cold winters, like the ones on the west coast of Canada, it might not be the most enjoyable activity (-brrr!). However, the weather is perfect for cycling right now!
Riding a bike is an easy solution, and E-bikes and electric scooters are trending big in the city this summer. Carpooling is also a great idea. You can split the cost of gas (which is still pretty expensive) and enjoy great people’s company. Just choose your carpool conversation buddies carefully!
Another solution is to take public transportation. It’s an opportunity to explore new public transportation systems in your community. For example, here in Vancouver, mini harbour boats hustle around our inner harbour. These are usually pretty touristy, but why not use one to get across town instead of driving? It can be fun and more eco-friendly than the pollution caused by driving your car.
Be mindful of sunscreen
Sunscreen usage is at an all-time high in the summer months (and for a good reason). But when stocking up on sunscreen, be mindful that not all products are created equally. Here are some features of sunscreens to be mindful of:
- Packaging: Look for one with minimal packaging, as these end up in the garbage when we’re done.
- Ocean-safe ingredients: Some sunscreens contain harmful ingredients to ocean life and reefs. Ingredients to avoid include oxybenzone, octinoxate, and octocrylene.
- Choose Mineral-based: These help protect your skin with a layer of zinc oxide and titanium dioxide.
- Evaluate the manufacturer’s ethics: Be sure to look at the manufacturer’s business practices and environmental policy. Support businesses who give back to the environment and who are conscious about lowering their carbon footprint
- Avoid spray and aerosol: This can lead to inhaling dangerous nanosized particles that have been linked to lung cancer, are fatal to water fleas, and can weaken the immune systems of mussels.
Use Reusable products
Summer can also be a very wasteful season when it comes to our consumption of single-use plastics. Heading to get an icy-cold drink, grabbing fast food, or food cart dinners to enjoy at the beach are a great summer pastimes.
Thankfully, purchasing good-quality multi-use items like cups and mugs, lunch containers, utensils, and straws is easier than ever. Keep a set in your purse or backpack and say “no” to the plastic or paper straw in the drive-through. Many coffee shops will also give you a discount if you bring your reusable mug instead of using their single-use paper cups.
Some great materials used in reusable products include bamboo, organic cotton, stainless steel, and beeswax (like in these sustainably made beeswax wraps)
Fun idea: Reward your employees for all their hard work with a summer gift basket of reusable products. Branded mugs, reusable stainless steel straws, and reusable takeaway containers make a great staff appreciation bag or gift for staff and clients.
Focus on energy consumption
The warmer weather and longer days can also help you cut your energy consumption in your home. With longer days, you won’t need to turn on lights as early anymore. You won’t need to run your expensive home heating system either.
If you have air conditioning in your home, you may see an increase in energy consumption in summer unless you optimize it. Consider turning up the target inside temperature. You don’t need the house to be an even 21o Celsius. Consider 23 or 24 instead. You can also keep your home cool by:
- Opening windows in the early morning or late evening to get a cool breeze.
- Not running your oven on hot days.
- Closing your blinds and windows during the heat of the day
- Hanging out in the lower levels of your home (below-ground basements will be cooler than your upper floors because heat rises).
- Turning down or off your home cooling and heating systems when you go on vacation.
- Blowing fans facing outwards to suck heat out of your home.
- Taking a cool shower before bed.
- Staying hydrated!
Support local farmers’ markets
One of our favourite parts of summer is all the farmers’ markets and stands we get to visit. You’ll likely find their fruits and vegetables much fresher and tastier than what you see at the grocery store. They also probably have a lower environmental footprint, mainly because the farmer only had to drive a “few miles” to get there. In contrast, imported produce from places like California and Mexico had a longer, less eco-friendly journey to the grocery store.
Supporting your local farmers is not only eco-friendly but a great way to support local businesses. If you’re in the Vancouver area here’s where to find your market.
Leave no trace exploration
Exploring the great outdoors is a great, active summer activity the whole family can enjoy. Ensure future generations can enjoy it by practicing leave no trace exploration. This means if you bring something with you, you bring it back out.
For example, focus on bringing snacks in reusable containers, so you’re not tempted to leave behind wrappers. You can use a reusable snack bag for trail mix or chips. Also, pack your reusable stainless steel water bottle to stay hydrated.
Another easy way to preserve our great outdoors is to stay on marked trails. This minimizes your chance of inadvertently destroying animal homes or getting hurt.
Check out our Leave No Trace Outdoor Gear Guide for more great ideas to minimize your impact on the environment.
Where to find eco-friendly summer products
Fairware is North America’s leading expert in sustainable, ethically sourced promotional products. We can help you find the perfect promotional product to show the world you care about your impact on the environment. Get your promotional product inspiration or contact us, and we’ll start the search for the perfect branded gifts today!