Summer is finally here, which means exploring new places for so many people. So many of our national and state parks reach their peak activity levels in the summer, which unfortunately means there’s a larger number of people acting carelessly in our protected lands. If we don’t treat these places with the respect they deserve, we won’t have them around to enjoy anymore. Be mindful of the spaces you are in. Our environment is begging us to treat it better and we aren’t listening. Here’s a couple of the easiest things you can do this summer that will help out mama earth.
Pack Out What You Bring In
Although this may seem like common knowledge, we all know from experience many people don’t do this. Park rangers have things much important to do than pickup after you. It is so sad to see some of the most beautiful wonders being cluttered with trash from previous visitors. More importantly, animals can eat your leftover trash and become sick or even die from it. Leaving food out attracts animals as well and puts them in danger. Even if it seems like a hassle, respect these places and clean up after yourself.
This is a movement that’s been gaining a lot of traction lately, and for good reason. Straws have a drastic impact on our environment and it’s time we #stopsucking. American’s use around 500 million straws each day, for on average of 20 minutes before they are thrown in the garbage to go to a landfill. The plastic will break down overtime, but never completely biodegrade. Plastic straws are filling up our oceans and causing our marine life to become ill. If you feel like you need a straw, there are PLENTY of biodegradable and inexpensive options available like this one on Amazon.
Recycle and thrift your clothes
Did you know textile dying is the second largest contribution to polluting water in the world? Many of the chemicals used to give fun and exciting colors in our clothing comes with a cost. These chemicals are carcinogenic and can disrupt an animals hormones as well. With the fashion industry always trying to keep up with the newest trends that means that there’s tons of clothes just being thrown out because they aren’t “on trend.” Lessen these impacts this summer and start recycling your clothing. Companies like ThredUp allow you to get paid for donating your clothes, then they recycle the ones they don’t accept. This not only gives customers incentive to recycle our clothes, but also allows us to be helping the environment. In addition, by buying second-hand clothes you are keeping more environmental waste from being made (plus thrifting is honestly so fun.)
Summer means fresh fruits and veggies, but that also means there’s a lot of waste when these foods go bad. Instead of throwing them out turn them into compost for your flowers or fruit/veggie garden. There’s so may benefits to composting like protection from diseases in your plants, prevention of pollution, healthy soil, and no more chemical fertilizers! Composting only requires a little extra work, but the benefits are plentiful.
Below I’ve added a link to some more ways you can be environmentally friendly and also save some money, check it out!U