Greening Your Summer: Guest Post by Michele Partridge
Summer is coming! Time to rejoice!
But before you strike up the grill or head to the beach, let’s look at some ENVIRO ways to respect our beautiful planet and still rock the summer fun
1. Think local
Instead of filling up the gas tank and heading on a long journey, look at what you can do locally first. Find local activities with low environmental impacts like a trip to the local park, woods, zoo, ballgame, or beach with friends to relax. How about lounging on the deck with that book you’ve been meaning to crack open?
2. Air conditioning as a last optionIf it gets a little too hot inside the house, open the doors and windows and air out the house and get a nice draft happening. Head to the basement as they tend to be cooler until it cools down outside. Plug in a fan, step into a cool shower, lie under a tree and spray water on yourself. The kids will love that one.
3. Strike up the Barbie
Use propane on your bbq as it burns much cleaner than either wood or charcoal briquettes. To clean your bbq, use an enzyme or vegetable based cleaner on your grills. Chemicals should not be an option with food preparation.
4. Buy food locally Have you tried the 100 Mile Diet? Try to only purchase food within a 100 mile radius. If you don’t purchase foods that had to fly here or travel great distances, you are helping our planet! Did you know: the ingredients for the average meal typically
travel between 2,500 and 4,000 kilometres, a 25 percent increase from 1980 alone. The average meal today uses up to 17 times more petroleum products and carbon dioxide emissions than an entirely local meal.
Local Farmer’s Markets are a fantastic source for organic fruits, veggies and other fantastic food items. And no pesticides!
5. Picnic musts
Use reusable dishes and cutlery rather than plastics or Styrofoam. Styrofoam does not decompose; it will be on the planet for years! Bring cloth napkins. Bring refillable drinks containers with your favourite beverage.
This is such a hot topic right now as new info is coming out all the time about the harmful chemicals that are being used in sunscreens. I would recommend the Canadian brand, Green Beaver’s Sunscreen. You can find it at Choices in South Surrey.
Most mosquito repellents contain a toxic chemical called DEET. Deet coats the insect with a toxin that kills nerve cells and also kills anything around it. It will also cause insects and other animals to retreat. Do you really want this on your skin? Because Deet gets absorbed into the skin, it has been proven to cause liver damage and is cancer causing.
A green option containing soybean oil is a much better option. Soybean oil insect repellants may often contain cloves, cinnamon oil or other extracts containing rather strong oils from the natural plant kingdom. I’ve also found pure Vanilla extract to work. Simply add a few drops of Vanilla with water to a small spray bottle and voila. They stay away plus you smell great!
Have a great GREEN Summer!