Green Tips For A Sustainable Summer From Harlem The Hudson

As the weather is warming up, the sun-fueled fun of summer makes it one of the most anticipated seasons of the year. As you get ready for longer days and warmer nights, there are many ways to reduce your environmental impact to ensure you have an eco-friendly yet exciting summer.

  • Use eco-friendly/reef-friendly sunscreen

With the UV index of the summer season being so high, it is important to protect your skin with sunscreen.

While your sunscreen will undoubtedly protect you, many sunscreens will contain harsh chemicals that endanger the ocean and beach.

In fact, one drop of toxic sunscreen can poison coral reefs the size of six Olympic-sized swimming pools.

To ensure that your sunscreen won’t damage coral reefs, make sure that it’s oxybenzone- and octinoxate-free. Also, try to avoid other chemicals, parabens, and nano-particles.


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A good way to get started is trying mineral sunscreens that are less harmful and just as effective. Check out this article for great eco-friendly sunscreen recommendations: The Best Reef-Safe, Eco-Friendly Sunscreens

  • Reduce air conditioning use

While the summer heat can get intense, you should resist the temptation to crank up the air conditioning to its maximum capacity in order to assist with grid resiliency. While it might feel good, doing so consumes a significant amount of energy.

AC usage also emits greenhouse gasses and leaks hydrofluorocarbons, which perpetuates climate change. If you need to use the AC, try to turn it on intermittently and use a fan to cool your living space when your AC is resting.

  • Use a reusable water bottle 

With the weather getting so warm, staying hydrated becomes an important task. Carrying a reusable water bottle ensures that you’ll always have a container to refill with water while also reducing the amount of single-use plastic waste.

  • Shop and eat locally 

A great way to stay healthy and save on emissions whilst boosting the local economy is eating locally produced food.

While you can do this year-round, the local farmers’ markets are always buzzing when the weather warms up with vendors and patrons.

In order to have a sustainable meal, shop for vegetables and other foods at your local farmers’ market. Due to the short food supply chain, locally-sourced foods generally have less of a carbon footprint compared to importanted processed foods.



  • Avoid disposable plates and utensils 

Barbeques and picnics are common activities in the summer. An often unintended side-effect of eating outdoors is creating a lot of waste.

When going on picnics or hosting cookouts, don’t use disposable plates, cutleries, napkins, or cups and opt for reusable alternatives instead.

Check out this article for more information.

  • Walk or use public transport 

With the weather being so nice, you should opt for walking or biking instead of driving!

If you need to travel somewhere far, using public transportation instead of driving is a great option as it eases congestion and reduces emissions.

  • Shop second hand 

Some of the fun activities of the summer may require or even be shopping. Thrift stores or yard sales are a great eco-friendly activity that gets you what you need.

Through second-hand shopping, you give life to products that the original owners no longer need.

It also slows down the production chain and allows products in circulation to be used to their highest potential.

The warmer seasons make yard sales popular so the summer can also be a great time to host a yard sale to declutter your home!

For more information go to NYLCVEF Green Tips.

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