Summer is here and outside is open, or well under way. We suspect that you and your family will be doing a little more travel, road trips, camping and overall fun!
While that's exciting news for us, it may not be for the environment. The hard truth is that quarantining inside minimized the impact humankind makes on the environment.
Here are our top tips on how you and the family can keep a low carbon-footprint going this summer!
1. Have a green picnic.
Choose locally grown foods to eat and bring reusable or biodegradable utensils such as forks, plates, napkins and cups. Consider bringing compostable garbage bags to dump scraps into and locate the closest composting facility to drop off.
2. Use Safer Sunscreen.
Many sunscreen brands out there contain toxins that are killing us as well as the oceans coral reef. The chemicals oxybenzone and octinoxate are known to cause cancer and to bleach and kill coral. So the next time you pick up sunscreen, don't just look at the SPF.
3. Get a reusable bottle to hydrate this summer.
Not only do reusable bottles emit less harmful gas because they use less oil but also, reusable bottles reduce the plastics you would've used with single-use bottles.
4. Shop locally.
When you shop locally, you're helping the environment. You reduce the need for produce to travel long distances, decreasing the negative environmental impact and reducing the carbon footprint. Not only that, but you're helping to strengthen the local economy leading to improvements in your community.
5. Consider your transportation.
Summers usually mean a more relaxed schedule. With better weather, why not walk or bike to an event or for errands. Also, don't pretend you haven't noticed the crazy surge in Uber/Lyft pricing.
6. Don't buy travel-sized toiletries.
Instead, decrease single-use plastic waste by using refillable containers. Challenge yourself to plastic-free travels by avoiding use of plastics in hotels and airbnbs and on air planes that distribute single-use plastics. If you're concerned about leaks, we recommend using reusable silicone pouches.
7. Avoid fast fashion.
You get what you pay for! Avoid buying cheap clothes: ones that are low quality, mass produced, at very high but hidden social and environmental costs. This summer, make an effort to shop consciously. This could mean a variety or all of the following:
- Explore alternative shopping options like swapping, renting, thrifting, vintage or second-hand clothing.
- Take a minimalist approach: invest in ethical, quality, versatile and sustainable pieces.
- Consider who makes your clothes. Fast fashion generally means exploited workers, which means they're underpaid, work in poor conditions and are exposed to toxic chemicals.
- Unsubscribe from shopping emails and remove shopping temptation all together.
- Switch to pre-ordering. This helps companies produce only based on demand and avoids mass production and waste.
- Repurpose clothing ie: cut jeans into shorts, long sleeves into tank tops, t shirts into crop tops, etc.
8. Listen to "green" podcasts.
There aren't enough BIPOC created sustainability podcasts out there, so we'll just list a few. Listen in on your errand runs, during workouts, right before bed, or whenever you have time this summer.
- A Sustainable Mind by Marjorie Alexander
- Brown Girl Green by Kristy Drutman
- Black Nature Narratives by Beth Collier
9. Consider ethical dining.
Sustainable practices can be implemented while eating out also. Try dining at farm to table restaurants, markets that serve seasonal produce, and establishments that compost.
10. Support sustainable brands.
There is a collective consciousness that has caused people to align holistically with their moral values, and this includes consumerism. People want to become part of the solution and not the problem. Make efforts to support brands that operate with people and the environment in mind, not just profits. A great place to start is by heading to Evergreen Baby, where you can shop for all Black-owned, eco-friendly goods for baby and the family!