Summer is here and so are the picnics, baseball games, and barbecues. Spending time with family and friends during summer vacation is always a great time, but it’s also the season where paper plates, plastic water bottles, and long trips in the car make a big comeback. From skipping the straw to a plastic-free picnic, here are some of our favorite tips to create a Zero Waste summer for you and your family!
1. Reusable Water Bottles
A classic Zero Waste solution, and for a good reason! Investing in a sturdy, reusable water bottle can replace hundreds of plastic, single-use ones. It’s also a great way to get younger kids to drink more water on a hot summer day! Let them pick the color or style and always make sure it gets packed for those trips to the park or swimming pool.
2. Skip the Straw
Summer is notorious for ice-cold lemonades, snow cones, and soft drinks. Choosing to forgo a straw is a great way to manage your plastic waste! If you prefer using a straw, it’s always an option to snag a stainless steel one from any of your local stores or here!
3. Bag the Bag
If you’ve been around the block with our team, you know how much we love a reusable bag! Our Bag The Bag campaign encourages community members to ditch that single-use plastic grocery bag and replace it with a canvas or other type of reusable shopping bag. Especially as people pack for picnics, hit the farmer’s market, or load up pool toys, a reusable bag is always great to have on hand!
3. Community Events
If you’re looking for a Zero Waste event near you, you’re in luck! Most cities participate in green programs and have non-profits like the Utah Recycling Alliance working to make recycling and Zero Waste education more accessible to residents. If you live in our neck of the woods, keep an eye out for Utah Zero Waste events like our CHaRM and Fix-It Clinics!
4. Get to Know Your Local Farmers
With summer comes Farmer’s Markets and your chance for a plastic-free grocery shopping experience! A lot of farmers will provide anything from organic berries to fresh spinach plastic free! Plus, eating local and in season is great for the environment! Looking to make the experience even more sustainable? Ditch the car and hop on your bike or take public transportation to get there.
5. Plan a Zero Waste Picnic
Nothing says plastic waste like a picnic. Red Solo cups, plastic cutlery, paper napkins, you know the drill. Thankfully, there are plenty of Zero Waste picnic ideas that are easy and fun for all your attendees! Encourage guests to bring their own dishes from home, use cloth napkins, and make your own drinks that can be poured into reusable water bottles or glasses!
6. Learn a New Skill
Looking to get the kids off the couch and away from the video games? Learn a new skill! Oftentimes, your local grocer, library, or hardware store will offer community events to learn skills like repairing electronics, building something new, or mending clothes. All great skills to keep materials at home from ending up in the landfill due to a malfunction. Plus, it’s never a bad idea to have a child who knows how to fix that lawn mower or pasta machine!
Want us to do the work for you? Click here to see our upcoming Fix-It Clinic events, where repair coaches join our team to help repair household items!
7. Shop Vintage
Skip the summer department store sales and enjoy a trip to the past at your local thrift or vintage shop! Find curated goodies and gently used clothes and give them a second chance in your wardrobe. The local vintage curator is in style, so keep an eye out for someone in your community who is doing the hard part for you!
8. Plan a Staycation
Frequent flyer? You would be surprised at how much air travel can contribute to your individual carbon footprint. If you’re looking for a cleaner way to get the family out of the house this summer, try planning a staycation! Look around your hometown and find new ways to enjoy local eateries, museums and events.
9. Shop Local, Support Local
Ditch the Amazon cart and spend a day out on the town supporting your local growers, barbers, artisans, makers, and more! Investing in your local community is a crucial step in moving towards a more sustainable lifestyle for everyone. Not only do you get the chance to meet the people you’re buying from, but you’re also decreasing the demand for goods that may be manufactured unethically or flown in from miles away.
10. Support the URA
Supporting organizations like the Utah Recycling Alliance is a great way to support community events that encourage recycling, re-purposing, and reusing to divert waste from the landfill. Through our Bag-The-Bag campaign, upcoming education programs for Zero Waste, and community events like our CHaRMs and Fix-It Clinics, we hope to enable communities to divert waste from the landfill and create a cleaner future for everyone!