Summer is the time to be outdoors, but with temperatures soaring, can you be sustainable without getting scorched? Dealing with excessive heat while being responsible consumers can leave many perplexed and confused about how to maintain an eco-friendly lifestyle. We understand — that’s why we have come up with a few fun activities that you, your family and your friends can do, in a sustainable way, all at home. Let’s talk.
1. Venture out to star gaze
One of the best and easiest ways to reconnect with the truth that we are all made up of “star stuff” is to spend an evening looking at the stars. For a lovely evening that requires little, lay down a blanket or settle back in a comfortable chair. No major work required. The trick is to choose a clear night — hopefully with minimal light pollution.
2. Start a family garden
As prices of food rise and more and more of Earth’s citizens face both shortages and tight food budgets, it costs almost nothing to start and work on building your own little garden. Not to mention, it’s a great way to spend time outside, working with your hands. Gardening is both productive and meditative. It’s also a simple activity the whole family can get in on during the summer. One tip? Try to have each family member pick a vegetable or herb they like and then plant away, keeping the family involved throughout the growing season while getting plenty of fresh air and sunlight.
3. Take on a treasure hunt
As adults, we don’t play enough. Our imaginations, once free and creative spaces, are now filled with stressful thoughts, worries, and far too many social media memes. So why not plan a treasure hunt in your backyard to bring some play time back to your family? Nature contains various treasures, including plants, stones, birds, and bugs. Take the kids (and adults) out and find some. Not only will they have fun hunting for the specific treasures on your list, but it will get them outdoors.
4. Host a game night
The quarantine proved to us how much fun we could have at home. In 2020 and 2021, we saw a rise in in-home activities that allowed friends and family to gather in safer ways. To keep with the trend, move your game night outside. Invite friends and family or keep it just between yourselves. Either way, you’ll have fun interacting with each other and being unplugged for the night.
5. Fire up the solar-powered BBQ
Because who doesn’t love an evening outdoors with the grill fired up and cocktails flowing? Another fantastic way to use your home for summer fun is to cook dinner outside. As you know, here at SaltyLama, we like all things green and sustainable. So even here, you can opt for a solar oven over a charcoal or gas-powered BBQ grill. Why not have fun making a meal using the sun's warmth rather than heating your house by turning on the oven? Solar ovens can be used in your backyard, camping, or anywhere the sun is shining. Just think of it as moving your whole kitchen outdoors.
6. Go glamping in your backyard
While you may not be into camping, glamping is another thing entirely. With glamping, your backyard can be just the sweet escape you’re looking for — minus the lack of plumbing. How can you feed your wild side while also being able to go to the bathroom conveniently? One way is to choose a traditional tent but deck it out with your favorite (moveable) chair, blow-up mattress, pillows, laptop, snacks, and drinks. In essence, you’re moving a mini bedroom into your tent.
7. Tackle a DIY project
We love DIY projects around here. Not only does it help us reduce our consumption by creating, but it also gets us moving and working with our hands. This summer, why not go green by setting up a rainwater harvesting system in your backyard? While summer may not seem like the ideal time to do this, it’s also an excellent time to take advantage of the warmer weather and longer daylight hours. Once completed, you’ll have plenty of water throughout the year. Or, you can choose a DIY art project using objects from nature. Press some flowers, leaves, or herbs into a piece of art you can hang in your house. Make a terrarium. Make a birdfeeder or bird house. In either case, Pinterest is full of ideas along these lines. Use recycled materials if possible.
So whether you’re gazing at the stars or inviting friends and family to a solar BBQ, you can still take advantage of the warm weather and long daylight hours. More than being just eco-friendly, these activities will bring you and your loved ones closer. Stay cool and stay green, friends.