Oh, sweet summer. That fleeting season, sometimes unbearably hot (and increasingly so, in many parts of the country) and delightful in its simplicity, freedom, and fruit. Before you know it, kids will be heading back to school and the leaves will be falling.
Beat the heat with these 10 tips for a safe, non-toxic summer!
1. Eat the harvest!
Eat as seasonally as possible. Because it is so hot, I try to have fresh fruit smoothies each day and a big salad each night. This is the season to eat like Michael Pollan says: eat food that has its own packaging (peaches, berries, spinach). You can thank me later for the health benefits of this kind of eating.
2. Walk, bike, share a ride!
Use the car less. This is the perfect season to walk or bike to your errands — and simply to stay home and play in the yard. Have a drink on the porch. Live simple, and drive less. Your pocketbook and the climate will thank you!
3. Open the windows!
Indoor air can be 3 times more polluted than outdoor air. Inside our homes we have flame retardant chemicals, heavy metals from outside, and other household toxins from dust. Open the windows as much as possible to circulate out polluted air and refresh your home.
There’s so much to purge in a busy household with growing kids! Take some time in the good weather to pass along items that are no longer useful in your home. Recycle old electronics that might contain toxic chemicals to reduce exposures throughout your house. You’ll feel good making room — and simplifying your surroundings (I really need to do this one– now!).
5. Clean with non-toxic cleaning supplies!
6. Hang the laundry!
7. Take your reusable water bottles everywhere!
Avoid buying bottled water which is bad for the earth and bad for our health. Instead, pack your water bottles everywhere you go this summer, and avoid throw away cups and containers, and plastic!
8. Don’t let your kids drink from the garden hose!
I know, I remember doing this and I am fine (somewhat). But most hoses are made with toxic PVC, lead, BPA and expose kids (and workers) to harmful chemicals. Head inside and drink from a glass or stainless steel water bottle.
9. Go barefoot inside!
Many toxins are brought inside on shoes. Summer is the perfect time to forget the shoes and slippers and go barefoot in your house all summer long.
10. Learn more about heat and extreme weather!
So live in the now! What are your tips for having a safe, healthy and non-toxic summer? Share your summer tips in the comment section below.