Summer can be a tough time for the environment. People run their air conditioners non-stop, leading to rolling blackouts and even multi-day power outages, travel tends to increase, and people participate in activities like boating, which can have a significant impact on marine ecosystems. Still, it’s untenable to ask everyone to just sweat through summer and patiently wait for things to cool off. Rather, if we want to reduce the season’s environmental consequences, we need to recommend more sustainable and enjoyable activities – and luckily, there are plenty to choose from.
1. Summer Essential: Swimming
Swimming, particularly in open bodies of water, rather than chlorinated pools, may have the most minimal impact on the environment of just about any other popular activity. After all, it doesn’t really require any equipment or introduce anything into the water. The only caveat to swimming is that, if you’re going to apply sunscreen or bug spray prior to swimming, make sure to choose products free of hazardous additives like octinoxate, oxybenzone, and DEET, which can be harmful to marine creatures.
2. Ply a Paddle
Boating, by which we mean using a motorboat, is generally considered an inadvisable activity from an ecological standpoint, though there are many products you can use to make it safer, such as using non-toxic cleaning products. Still, if you’re looking for a way to get out on the water that doesn’t require the use of fossil fuels, your best bet is to propel yourself. Consider trying out a new activity, like learning to use a stand up paddle board, which can be a fun and challenging workout, or explore your local waterways in a canoe or kayak. You may even find these activities to be more fulfilling that just being a passenger on a boat.
3. Become a Frisbee Fanatic
People who are into frisbee, whether that means an organized sport like ultimate frisbee or a casual round of frisbee golf, tend to be very into their games, and you can become an enthusiast, too. Though made of plastic, a quality frisbee is nearly indestructible, and will last you for years, making it a better investment than many other plastic toys, and you can create a frisbee golf course just about anywhere. It’s fun for the whole family!
4. Explore With a Snorkel
Like swimming, snorkeling has virtually no environmental impact, as long as you don’t interfere with the environments you encounter. While you may not have access to a coral reef, the best thing you can do is follow snorkeling and scuba best practices for these types of environments, as they are some of the most delicate. Don’t touch or remove wildlife and remember that even a shell may be someone’s home! If you want to learn more about the nearby aquatic wildlife, consider investing in a simple underwater camera. These are relatively affordable these days, and allow you to learn more about the creatures you encountered once you return home.
Summer doesn’t have to be boring, or spent stuck in your house with the air conditioner on. In fact, it can be a great adventure, and one that doesn’t require you to spend all of your time overheating in the sun. Get the most out of the warm weather by enjoying some of these activities. While you may leave physical footprints in the sand or grass, in the long-term, your carbon footprint will be virtually non-existent.
Article Submitted By Community Writer