Summers are here and you know what that means- The holidays have almost begun, and it’s just about time for some fun in the sun! As you plan those tropical holidays or host a few summer soirees, here are a few mindful tips to help you stay low-waste and low-impact without hampering any of the fun!
1. Low-waste vacation essentials:
The summer vibes don’t fully sink in till the vacation prep begins! Don’t you agree? If you’re on your way to plan that much-awaited getaway, there are a few simple things you can do to stay low on waste:
Water bottles, masks, handkerchiefs (instead of single-use wipes!), straws, travel-friendly cutlery and even your takeaway coffee mugs! These are simple and effective essentials that you can pack along, be it for long holidays abroad or even weekend treks!
Find Earth-friendly eateries:
When you plan your next holiday, it would be a good idea to research and find planet-friendly cafes in the cities or towns you visit. You’d be surprised at how many hyper-local eateries in small towns too, follow zero-waste food policies!
If you prefer organic foods you can also look for restaurants with such specific menus! Check out our curated list to help you get started.
Pack those walking shoes!
Visiting a new destination is always an adventure! If you can manage it, and the distances are shorter, it’s a great idea to take walks around the tourist cities rather than rent a cab or bus.
Several tourist destinations around the world now have all major amenities within walking distance from your hotels, camping sites and popular hubs, so don’t forget to pack those shoes & get going!
Bin it, don’t throw it:
Be it small hilly regions or major cities- No matter where you plan on vacationing, it’s best to avoid littering. Some countries even have major preventative laws against it, and could fetch you a fine!
One quick hack we recommend is always carrying a spare bag or foldable tote with you. This way, if you have any empty packets or cans to discard, you can hold onto them before you find a bin.
2. Daily needs to fight the summer heat:
A story that repeats itself every year, we bet you’re no stranger to the effects of the summer heat. Be it travelling on holiday or simply to work, being out in the heat can drain you. Not to mention, the sweltering heat can also cause skin rashes & infections. At times like this, it is best to stay equipped. Here are a few must-haves for your bag:
Carry a refillable water bottle at all times:
BONUS TIP: Try switching to a copper bottle- It keeps the water cool!
Switch to natural SPF
It is made of herbal extracts and keeps your skin safe from the harsh UV rays, without the interference from toxic chemicals.
Switch up your skincare routine:
The humid summers can often leave your skin oily. Adapting your skincare routine to the weather can help keep it hydrated. Try water-based serums & lotions this season and also invest in healing natural gels such as pure aloe vera!
Keep a reusable straw in your bag:
It’s natural to crave fruity coolers or fresh coconut water when you’re out and about in the summer heat. A great hack to ensure you don’t get stuck with a plastic straw is to always have a reusable spare one in your bag. A steel or copper straw can be reused multiple times and fits in any bag with ease!
3. Summer-friendly wear:
Speaking of beating the heat, what you wear is also an important part of summer skincare. Synthetic clothing is usually made of rayon or polyester which can cause skin rashes. Additionally, most of these fabrics contain plastic elements which add to the landfill pressure once discarded. Here are a few ways you can style up sustainably this summer:
Get your old cotton and linen classics out!
Both these are natural, skin-friendly materials and tend to last a long time. So before you buy something new, assess the natural summer clothing you already own & reuse those first!
If you feel the need to shop, give bamboo and hemp-based clothing a try too!
Bamboo fibre is extremely soft and absorbent, and it also protects you from sun exposure. Additionally, it does not catch on to odour so you needn't worry about sweating it out! Similarly, hemp fibre is conducive to all weathers and extremely soft on the skin, making it ideal for the summer! Naturally, there’s a BONUS- Both these Earth-friendly fibres are biodegradable and organic!
For cotton lovers, organic cotton is also a viable switch.
It uses much less water than regular cotton cultivation and is cultivated without the use of pesticides or insecticides. This makes organic cotton a safe bet for baby clothing too!
Keep an eye out for plant-based dyes!
You can go a step ahead and ensure that the summer clothing you buy is coloured using natural dyes. These are made primarily from vegetable and flower extracts, so they do not harm either the planet or your skin. Being plant-based, they are often used in vegan clothing too.
4. Tips to prevent food waste:
You must remember the childhood lesson we always learned from our moms right? Always keep the food refrigerated in the summers, or it may spoil faster! Well, there is certainly some truth to that, but if you want to cut back on your energy usage, here are a few practical ideas to prevent food waste in the summers:
Cook only as much as you need!
It always helps to plan the day or week’s menu in advance, so you don’t end up with many leftovers. That way, you can both eat and cook fresh food, while also not being left behind with much food later. A great idea that many sustainable moms also follow, is to take stock of the foods their kids don’t usually eat. By asking them in advance, you won’t end up with uneaten food!
Try natural food wraps:
Beeswax wraps tend to keep food fresh for longer hours and are a sustainable alternative to aluminium foil, zip-lock bags or plastic cling wraps! They are also microwave-friendly and multi-purpose!
Eat summer-friendly foods:
In summers, many nutritionists recommend eating or drinking naturally cooling and seasonal foods. Since your body will take well to such foods in the summer, you are more likely to gravitate towards them during the day. This also prevents food waste, as many family members may not prefer heaty foods in the current season.
5. BONUS ideas for a step ahead!
Besides keeping your basics in check, there are a few more things you can do to take your seasonal sustainability a step ahead! Here are a few cool tips you can experiment with:
Reduce your air-conditioner usage:
Enable the power-saver mode when in usage and use the fan when the heat is not too strong. A great hack to reduce your energy usage is to use the air-conditioner a few moments before bedtime, to cool the room. Once cool enough, you can turn it off and switch to the fan again! This way, your room will comfortable through the night without raking up your energy consumption!
Resist spending hours in the shower:
We know, it’s tempting to enjoy long, cooling showers when it’s hot outside, but can lead to excess water waste. In the summers, a quick cold shower instead of a long-drawn bath is a great way to feel instantly refreshed.
Additionally, you can also invest in a water-saving nozzle for your home taps to restrict the water flow when needed and prevent extra wastage!
Sign-up for summer workshops!
Look around for any interesting sustainability workshops in your city or online! Summer workshops are a great way to increase your knowledge. Besides, you can also engage your kids in such productive workshops to get them started young! Check out our list of a few such courses to get you started.
Extend the kindness to birds & animals:
Summers are also equally draining for our voiceless friends. In the summer, it is always a kind idea to have a bowl of fresh water out for birds that may stop by your windowsill or balcony. Additionally, you can always leave food & water out for the strays in your colony too!
As you prepare for a summer full of fun, have these handy tips by your side! If you have any more unique summer tips you’d like to share, leave us a comment below. We’d love to hear your sustainable ways!
You can find your sustainable summer essentials on www.brownliving.in