Easing lockdown restrictions means Summer 2021 has an extra level of excitement attached to it; we want to get outside, grab drinks in the beer garden, go for a picnic in the park, and maybe even venture out on a sunny holiday.
But sadly, summer fun often means a lot of plastic waste - takeaway drink cups, extra picnic packaging, and useless plastic straws. Thankfully, it doesn’t have to be this way, with some simple swaps you can take for a greener summer.
Simple Ways To Have A Sustainable Summer
1. Ditch The Single Use Plastics
Single-use plastics are rife in the summer months, with plastic water bottles, un-recyclable iced coffee cups, single-use cutlery, and a whole host of other unnecessary items. Creating yourself a reusable kit is the best way to avoid useless waste this summer.
Grab yourself a reusable water bottle to stay hydrated in the hot summer months.
A coffee cup to beat the waste of 2.5 billion cups being thrown away each year.
Do you see yourself as having a bit of a green thumb? In that case, you may be excited to tend to your plants this summer, but being environmentally conscious when pottering about in the garden is an essential part of sustainability.
One of the most straightforward sustainable gardening tips is creating your own compost. This is where your food and natural waste is reused as organic fertiliser. You can compost food scraps from your kitchen, cooked or uncooked grains, coffee grounds, eggshells, and garden scraps such as dead leaves and grass clippings.
If you do need to buy soil or compost for your garden, always choose peat-free. Peat is sourced from raised bogs, a rare habitat in the UK, and they are an essential carbon sink. Supporting the use of peat means destroying this carbon sink and contributing to climate change.
3. Conserve Your Water
The average person in the UK uses 150 litres of water every day, and more when the weather is warm. Much of this water is heated, with around 30% of the average household gas bill is spent on heating water. By saving water, you will be saving energy and reducing your CO2 emissions.
Here are some of our favourite ways to use less water:
Repair your dripping taps. A dripping tap wastes at least 5,500 litres of water a year; that’s enough to fill a paddling pool every day for the whole summer!
Turn off the tap whilst you’re brushing your teeth; that could save up to 35 litres of water per day.
Collect rainwater or the shower/tap water when you’re waiting for it to heat up for watering your garden.
Whilst washing your dishes, use a washing up bowl; running the tap whilst you do this will waste both water and energy to heat it.
Ditch the hosepipe and instead use a bucket of water and a sponge to wash the car.
Keep your showers short; around 5 minutes is a good time, and avoid baths where you can.
On the hot summer days, fill a jug of cold water in the fridge, rather than letting the tap run until the water is cold. This is incredibly refreshing too!
4. Host A Meat Free Or Vegan BBQ
Animal agriculture accounts for up to 18% of the world’s total greenhouse gas emissions, an eye-water amount that puts them in the top 5 most polluting industries (the exact answer is complicated). Ditching the meat-heavy BBQ this summer will help curb your carbon footprint.
Going meat-free doesn’t mean you’ll miss the British BBQ classics; you can make burgers, hot dogs, kebabs, all vegan by simply swapping out to plant-based ingredients. Plus, with a quick search, you’ll find tons of online recipes for endless vegan BBQ foods.
When cooking your vegan feast, consider the most environmentally friendly option. If you have access to green electricity, an electric BBQ is the best answer, but if you’re committed to your charcoal cooking, then opt for 100% organic coals that don’t contain unnecessary chemical additives.
5. Take Your Holidays A Little Closer To Home
Though you may be itching to leave the country after the year we have had; air travel makes up a huge percentage of personal carbon emissions, so a staycation may be the best choice this year.
A holiday closer to home doesn’t have to be boring though, choosing a cottage or campsite in the British countryside over busy holiday resorts sounds incredibly relaxing. If nature isn’t your thing, a posh hotel in a new city is just as exciting as jetting across Europe.
Check out Green Tourism to discover green accredited holiday destinations as well as some great discounts. Just remember your reusable coffee cup and cocktail straws!
6. Sign Yourself Up For A Litter Pick-Up
A great way to support our environment this summer is to complete a litter pick-up or beach clean up. You can even corral your family, friends and kids to make it an activity you do together.
Whether it’s a local park that you know is polluted with plastic rubbish or a beach that has a build-up of summer waste, all you need is a bin bag and some gardening or work gloves to get started. We suggest you wear something high-vis if you’re working alongside a busy road.
If you don’t have the time to commit to a whole cleanup session, then make a mental note to clean up any rubbish you come across on your next walk or commute and take it to the nearest bin.
Wild & Stone’s mission is to create stylish, easy to adopt and usable alternatives to common plastic products around the home. We source all our products sustainably, from raw material to final delivery. Shop our wide range today.