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The Ultimate Summer Bucket List: 10 Activities for Sustainable Fun

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As the dog days of summer set in, many of us are eagerly planning our vacations and looking for fun activities to do in the sun. However, it is important to consider the impact our choices have on the planet. Sustainable practices during this vibrant season play a crucial role in preserving our environment, protecting natural resources, and fostering a greener future for generations to come. 

The environment isn’t the only one who will benefit from checking off a green summer bucket list, our wallets and community will too!  Whether it's exploring local farmers markets for fresh and locally sourced produce or enjoying the beauty of the outdoors at your local park, these sustainable activities allow us to connect with nature while also being mindful of our impact on it. By incorporating sustainable activities into our summer bucket list, we can have a memorable and enjoyable season while protecting our planet.

1. Explore Local Farmers Markets

One of the best things to do in the summer is to explore local farmers markets. Local farmers markets are a treasure trove of delicious fruits, vegetables, and other products like honey, bread, and cheese. The vibrant atmosphere and colorful displays make it a fun experience for the whole family. You can taste and sample different products, learn about the origins of your food, and connect with the people who grow it. Plus, you might discover new flavors and recipes to enjoy throughout the season!

An added bonus, because many farmers at local markets grow organic produce, your local market can reduce the amount of waste and pollution associated with your food.  

eco iconExtra Eco Tip: Bring your own reusable bags and containers to the farmers market to further reduce your environmental impact!

2. Discover Local Parks and Natural Reserves

You may have heard of the beauty and splendor of the National Parks, but did you know that they operate on a largely sustainable model? With a focus on reducing waste, conserving water, and powering systems with renewable energy, the National Park Service offers some of the most breathtaking sustainable retreats. 

Local parks and natural reserves offer a wide range of activities for people of all ages. From hiking and biking trails to bird watching and wildlife spotting, there is something for everyone. As you embark on your adventure, take the time to appreciate the natural surroundings. Observe the wildlife, listen to the birds singing, and breathe in the fresh air. 

Additionally, exploring local parks and natural reserves is a budget-friendly alternative to other summer activities. Most parks have minimal or no entrance fees, and you can bring your own food and drinks. It's a cost-effective way to have fun while enjoying the great outdoors.

eco iconExtra Eco Tip: Make your outing even more sustainable by bringing a reusable water bottle and packing a zero-waste picnic.

3. Plant Your Own Garden or Join a Community Garden

One of the most rewarding and sustainable activities to add to your summer bucket list is planting your own garden or joining a community garden. Not only does gardening help you connect with nature, but it also allows you to grow your own organic fruits, vegetables, and herbs. By growing your own food, you can reduce your carbon footprint and avoid the use of harmful pesticides and chemicals. 

If you don't have enough space for a garden, consider joining a community garden in your area. These shared spaces provide opportunities for people to come together and share resources and knowledge with other gardeners while contributing to a more sustainable community.

Practicing sustainable gardening allow you to not only reap the benefits of homegrown produce, but also learn valuable gardening skills, foster connections with like-minded individuals, and contribute to a greener environment. So go ahead, grab your gardening gloves, and start planting for a more eco-friendly summer!

4. Host Eco-Friendly Picnics and BBQs

One of the most enjoyable and budget-friendly things to do during the summer is to host eco-friendly picnics and BBQs.

Instead of using disposable plates, utensils, and cups, opt for reusable or biodegradable options. This simple swap can significantly reduce waste and contribute to a more sustainable future. Additionally, consider using sustainable and organic ingredients for your food, such as locally sourced produce and grass-fed meats. Supporting local farmers not only benefits the environment but also boosts the local economy.

And when it comes to cooking, opt for a grill that is energy-efficient and burns clean. Propane grills are a better choice than charcoal grills, as they emit fewer pollutants and use less energy. You can also try grilling vegetables and fruits alongside your main course to add a healthy and sustainable touch to your menu.

Don’t forget to throw in some outdoor games and activities and enjoy the company while enjoying your eco-friendly picnics and BBQs!

5. Volunteer for Environmental Organizations or Clean Up Projects 

Volunteering for environmental organizations or clean-up projects is a rewarding way to give back to your community and can make a big difference. There are numerous organizations and projects focused on protecting and preserving our environment, and they often rely on volunteers to help carry out their mission.

By dedicating your time and energy to these initiatives, you can actively contribute to the well-being of our planet while enjoying a fulfilling summer experience. Whether it's joining a local beach clean-up, participating in tree planting initiatives, or assisting in habitat restoration projects, there are plenty of opportunities to get involved.

So, consider adding volunteering for environmental organizations or clean-up projects to your sustainable summer bucket list. Not only will you make a positive impact on the environment, but you'll also discover the joy of working together with like-minded individuals who share your passion for protecting our planet.

6. Try Out Eco-Friendly Water Sports and Activities 

Summer is the perfect time to cool off and have fun in the water. But why not make your water activities eco-friendly too? There are plenty of things to do that will not only keep you entertained but also help protect the environment. 

One of the best ways to enjoy eco-friendly water sports and activities is by opting for paddleboarding or kayaking instead of motorized watercrafts. These activities allow you to explore the beauty of rivers, lakes, and even the ocean, while being mindful of your carbon footprint. Renting or purchasing a used paddleboard or kayak can be a great investment that will allow you to enjoy these activities all summer long.

Lastly, don't forget about simple activities like swimming or fishing. These timeless classics are refreshing and great opportunities to appreciate nature and spend time with loved ones. Just remember to be respectful of the environment, follow local regulations, and avoid any harmful fishing practices.

Grab your swimsuit, sunscreen, and reusable water bottle, and get ready for some unforgettable experiences in the water with these eco-friendly water sports and activities!

7. Plan a Sustainable Road Trip or Staycation 

When it comes to summer vacation, many of us love the idea of hitting the open road or relaxing at a nearby destination. This year, why not make your getaway more sustainable? Planning a sustainable road trip or staycation helps reduce your carbon footprint and allows you to support local businesses and communities.  

To start, choose a destination that is close to home or can be reached using public transportation. Consider staying at eco-friendly accommodations, such as hotels that prioritize energy efficiency or eco-lodges that focus on conservation efforts. When it comes to transportation, opt for carpooling or renting a hybrid or electric vehicle. By sharing the ride with others or using a fuel-efficient car, you can significantly reduce emissions and save on fuel costs.

To make your trip more eco-friendly, pack reusable water bottles, shopping bags, and utensils. This way, you can minimize your use of single-use plastics and reduce waste. Additionally, support local farmers markets and restaurants that prioritize locally sourced, organic, and sustainable food options.

With a little planning and conscious decision-making, you can turn your summer road trip or staycation into a sustainable adventure and enjoy a well-deserved break. 

8. Host an Outdoor Movie Night 

One of the most enjoyable and sustainable activities to add to your summer bucket list is hosting an outdoor movie night. Gather your friends and family, set up a projector, and create a cozy outdoor seating area with blankets and pillows. 

Opt for LED string lights or solar-powered outdoor lighting to create a cozy, eco-friendly atmosphere. Instead of using disposable plates and utensils, opt for recyclable or compostable ones for your popcorn, snacks, and drinks. Don’t forget to also set up a designated recycling area and compost bin to ensure that waste is properly disposed of at the end of the night. 

By hosting an outdoor movie night with sustainability in mind, you can create a fun and memorable experience while promoting eco-friendly habits. 

9. Engage in DIY and Upcycling Projects

Engaging in DIY and upcycling projects is a fun and sustainable way to spend your summer. You can unleash your creativity while reducing waste and giving new life to old items that you can continue to treasure. 

Instead of throwing away that worn-out coffee table or outdated dresser, why not give it a fresh new look? With a little sanding, painting, and new hardware, you can transform these pieces into something unique and beautiful. Plus, it’s a great budget-friendly alternative to buying brand new furniture. 

If you’re feeling crafty, you can also repurpose old items into something entirely different. Turn wine bottles into vases and lamps, create wall art using recycled materials, turn old mason jars into candle holders - the possibilities are endless! 

Not only will you be reducing waste, but you'll also have unique and eco-friendly home decor. Additionally, you can involve the whole family in these projects and make it a bonding experience. So grab your tools and let your imagination run wild while helping to reduce your environmental impact.

10. Upgrade Your Home’s Energy Efficiency with Solar 

With summer heat come rising energy costs for many homeowners. A truly impactful and sustainable activity to add to your summer bucket list is upgrading your home's energy efficiency with solar. Embracing solar energy not only benefits the environment but also your wallet in the long run. In fact, solar panels can save homeowners $20-$75K throughout the life of the system.

With programs like PosiGen’s solar leasing, solar energy is an affordable,  sustainable solution to rising energy costs. By installing solar panels on your home, you’ll be able to power your home with clean electricity, reducing your carbon footprint and utility costs. 

eco iconExtra Eco Tip: PosiGen maximizes the energy efficiency of solar energy by prioritizing energy efficiency and works to make homes more sustainable through a range of energy-saving solutions. This includes providing energy audits and recommending energy-efficient upgrades to further the benefits of solar. 

By adding these eco-friendly and budget-friendly activities to your summer bucket list, you can make a difference while creating lasting memories. Now go out and enjoy the rest of your summer while being kind to the environment!


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