By Jessica McLeod-Sopczynski
Summer is here! Whether you’re looking forward to seasonal food, DIY projects or just immersing yourself in nature, there are tons of ways to enjoy the season and support the environment. Challenge yourself to your most eco-friendly summer ever with these low or zero waste activities.
For the foodies:
The growing season may already be in full swing, but it’s not too late to get a garden started! Whether you’ve got space in your yard or are working with containers on your patio, you can start a small veggie or herb garden to help avoid purchasing plastic wrapped produce from the store. Another option is to visit a local u-pick farm to harvest produce such as strawberries, blueberries, peaches and more. Worried you won’t be able to eat everything before it spoils? Check out our catalog for great books like Good Housekeeping’s Canning and Preserving, opens a new window to extend the life of your favorite fruits and veggies.
Bonus: Plan a “locavore” dinner party using ingredients sourced 50 miles or less from your home. This is a fun opportunity to check out your city’s farmer’s markets and connect with local growers. It’s an even better opportunity to show off what you’ve grown and preserved!
For the DIY crowd:
If you are starting or expanding your garden, consider building your own raised beds from reclaimed or repurposed wood. Raised beds are great for beginners as they help to control weeds, serve as a barrier to pests and provide good drainage. If you are passionate about water conservation, you may even want to set up a rainwater harvesting system to keep your beds watered without increasing your water bill. Attract some wildlife to your yard by making a bird-feeder or birdhouse out of recycled materials. If you think outside the box, anything can serve as the base of this project—a 2 liter soda bottle, an old tea kettle, even a shoe!
Many household items can also be repurposed as lawn ornaments and decor. Susan Guagliumi’s Handmade for the Garden, opens a new window is full of ideas for enhancing your outdoor space with easy-to-find, inexpensive, repurposed materials.
What eco-friendly summer activities do you enjoy?