7 ways to have an eco-friendly summer

16 July 2019

Summer isn’t just about travelling abroad, sitting in bank holiday traffic, and burning food on the barbeque. It’s a chance to get back to nature, discover your local wildlife, and make greener choices to protect our planet. Here are seven ways to have an eco-friendly summer.

Plan a staycation

Air travel makes up a huge percentage of personal carbon emissions – so treat yourself to a staycation for a more eco-friendly holiday.

Lots of Brits are choosing to holiday at home this summer, opting for cottages and campsites in the British countryside over holiday resorts abroad. It’s not always cheaper, but you’ll definitely cut your carbon emissions by holidaying in the UK – especially if your destination is approved by Green Tourism.

You could even spend the money you would have used on flights and accommodation to treat yourself to an indulgent week at home. Head to nearby restaurants, visit local attractions or spas, or take a digital detox to really unwind.

Head outdoors

There’s no better way to enjoy the great British summer than to head out and explore all the amazing things nature has to offer, right on your doorstep:

  • Go for a bike ride
  • Take kids on a nature walk
  • Grow your own – you’d be surprised what can bloom, even in a small space
  • Go foraging
  • Make space for nature by creating a wildlife garden
  • Camp – you could even set up a tent in your back garden

Host a vegan BBQ

Meat and dairy farming has decimated the British countryside, and accounts for over 60% of farming’s greenhouse gas emissions. So ditch the meat heavy BBQ this summer, and start cooking up some tasty vegan alternatives instead.

You can still enjoy all the British BBQ classics – burgers, hot dogs, kebabs, corn on the cob, salads – you just need to get a little creative with plant-based ingredients. There are tonnes of recipes online for vegan BBQ food, or just head to your local supermarket for some inspiration.

And when it comes to barbequing, think about what you use to cook your vegan feast. An electric BBQ is the most environmentally friendly option if your home is powered by green electricity. But if you can’t tear yourself away from charcoal, opt for 100% organic British lump charcoal that doesn’t contain chemical additives.

Use a reusable water bottle

It’s important to stay hydrated during the warm summer months, so get yourself a reusable water bottle to avoid the temptation of buying bottled water when you’re out and about.

12 million tonnes of plastic is dumped into our oceans every year, with half of that coming from single use plastics like water bottles. A reusable water bottle won’t just save you cash – it will save on plastic pollution too.

Check out more of our tips on cutting single use plastic out of your life.

Use eco-friendly sun cream

Most sun creams, particularly spray on, contain an ingredient called ‘oxybenzone’ – which is bleaching and killing our coral reefs when it gets washed off in the sea. So protect your skin this summer with an eco-friendly organic sun cream.

You can find a range of eco-friendly organic sun creams on the Ethical Superstore website – and most of them are vegan and cruelty free too.

Conserve water

On average, we each use 150 litres of water a day in the UK – more when the weather’s warm. But there are plenty of ways you can save on your water usage this summer:

  • Take quick showers and fit an eco-shower head
  • Only run full loads of the washing machine or dish washer
  • Turn off the tap while you brush your teeth
  • Keep jugs of water in the fridge to drink, instead of running the tap until it goes cold
  • Collect rainwater in a water butt for watering plants
  • Ditch the hosepipe and use a bucket of water to wash your car

For more tips on how to save water and energy, check out our 12 tips to save on your energy bills.

Go to a green festival

Festivals haven’t always been known for their environmental conscious, but it’s become more of a central focus, even for the bigger festivals. 2019 marked the first year that Glastonbury implemented a single-use plastic ban, and the organisers reported that 99% of all tents were taken home.

So when you’re choosing which festival to head to, try to pick one that’s environmentally responsible and limit your carbon footprint by following these tips to having a green festival.

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