10 Ways We’re Keeping it Eco-Friendly This Summer

Welcome to the June 2014 Natural Living Blog Carnival: Eco-Friendly Summer.
This post was written for inclusion in the monthly Natural Living Blog Carnival hosted by Happy Mothering and Crunchy Farm Baby through the Green Moms Network. This month, our members are talking about how they are keeping their family eco-friendly during this summer season. Stop by all of the posts listed at the bottom of mine to get ideas on how your family can keep it safe and natural this summer.

eco-friendly-summerSummer has officially come to our household. Zoë is officially done with Kindergarten, and Kaylee is very happy to have her big sister home for a few months. They are being crafty with construction paper and scissors as I write this post.

I am also very happy to have both of my girls home. Summer has always been my favorite time of the year. Getting outside and getting some good old fashioned vitamin D just feels good! I am really looking forward to spending some time in the sun doing fun activities with my family this summer.

Just because it’s summer doesn’t mean we abandon our eco-friendly lifestyle though. Here are 10 ways we’re keeping things safe and natural in our family this summer.

Natural Sunscreen – When Necessary

Even as a melanoma survivor, I am not a big fan of slathering on sunscreen every day. Evidence is growing that many diseases are driven by vitamin D deficiency. When you don’t get enough sun exposure, you end up with a vitamin D deficiency. And wearing sunscreen all the time doesn’t allow your body to make vitamin D. So, we enjoy the sunshine, and only apply sunscreen if we’ll be in direct sun for extended amounts of time. When we do use sunscreen, we choose zinc based sunblocks without toxic ingredients in them.

Farmers Market Trips

We only have a Farmer’s Market in our town from April to October, so we make it a priority to attend every week. The girls love getting to pick the produce we’ll eat for the next week, and I love that my kids prefer to snack on fruits and vegetables over processed foods. The farmers love it too. We always end up with extra produce added to our bag when they see how excited the girls get by tasting it.

Reduce Screen Time

During the winter, we’re often cooped up inside due to the weather. When summer rolls around, we try to turn off the TV moand enjoy the world around us.

More Outdoor Play

We spend as much time outside as possible during the summer. We’re fortunate that we live somewhere where there are hiking trails everywhere around us, a beautiful lakes and lots of parks.

Kids Crafts & DIY Time

Another way we’re turning off the TV more is by putting together a list of crafts and DIY projects the girls want to do this summer. I have always loved being crafty, and it’s so fun that the girls are old enough now to enjoy it as well. I’ll be sharing the projects that turn out well with you here.

Purge Unecessary Possessions

Kaylee likes to hold onto everything, while Zoë prefers to have only the possessions she actually uses. Kaylee and I have made a pact to go through all of her toys and cut down what she has by half. When we’re finished going through everything, we’ll put it with everything else that we’ve gone through and I want to have a big yard sale. I always feel better after we have purged unnecessary possessions from our life.

Cut Down on Electricity Use

Since we’re indoors all winter, we tend to have higher utility bills. Spending more time outside allows us to turn off the TV, turn off the lights, and generally use less electricity. Eating more raw foods like fruit for snacks and salads for dinner also allows us to use less gas for cooking.

Natural Cleaning Products

Lots of dirt tends to get tracked into the house during the summer, so I’m always wiping up something. We’re always sure to use cleaning products that are safe and natural for our family.

DIY Personal Care Products

We have been using all natural personal care products for a while. My next goal is to make more and more of them myself so I can even better control the ingredients. This summer I want to perfect my toothpaste recipe and try my hand at deodorant.

Make Sustainable Choices

We’re a bit late on planting a garden this year, but we should have time to put some tomato plants in. We also still have our chickens for eggs. I can’t wait until we’re living somewhere with more space so we can raise meat birds again. We don’t have any left from last year, and they are so much tastier than the ones we can get from the store!

What eco-friendly choices are you making this summer for your family?

Visit Happy Mothering and Crunchy Farm Baby to learn more about participating in next month’s Natural Living Blog Carnival! Please take some time to enjoy the posts our other carnival participants have contributed:

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