5 Summer Upgrades

When I think of summer, I think bountiful, colorful produce…fireflies and other critters. I envision slathering on sunscreen and getting my tan on…A vibrant green lawn hosting birds, bunnies and butterflies. Summer is also a great time to make a positive change in our usual habits. We are in charge of our destiny and health so why not make smart and healthy choices now? 

Local Produce ~ Support your local farmer’s markets or create your own garden. There are amazing markets across the country selling everything from homemade cheeses, pickles, breads and soaps to freshly picked berries and lettuce. By buying locally you are a part of the environmental solution reducing your carbon footprint and supporting local communities and families who farm. What’s in season now? Find out at www.pickyourown.org. Planting a garden is both therapeutic and functional. Create a space in your yard to grow your favorite produce. You can even grow vertical gardens inside your house or apartment. They are sold online and they are great for herbs or small things like cherry tomatoes. Fresh herbs are a game changer in any recipe.

Choose a Mineral Sunscreen over a Chemical One ~ Mineral based sunscreens are found mostly in health food stores and are made with zinc oxide and titanium dioxide, both protective against UVA and UVB rays. Both are minerals found in nature known to be safe for your body and stable in sunlight. Mineral sunscreens are great because they begin working right away and stay on in the water although reapplication is advised. They are also reef safe unlike chemical sunscreens which are destroying coral and fish populations. Don’t forget to protect your lips. Sunscreen balms with a mineral SPF are readily available and have great scents and flavors.

Use eco friendly cleansers ~ Plant based surfactants kill 99.99% of bacteria. They create better air quality within your home and don’t expose us to common chemicals like phosphates, triclosan, coal tar dyes, ammonia, dioxane, DEA and chlorine which pollute our waters too. Seventh Generation and Earth Friendly Products make great household solutions.

Go Green with your Lawn ~ Cleaner water is better for all of us. Excess nitrogen is polluting our ground water and bays. This stems from lawn fertilizers, septic systems and sewage plants. Ditch the chemical lawn fertilizers and weed killers. Choose pesticide free, organic lawn fertilizers that will keep your family and your pets healthier and your rivers, lakes and streams cleaner. Roundup is a common weed killer that has multiple law suits and too much controversy. Is a little weed or a dandelion worth a compromise in our health? Absolutely not.

No More Bug Sprays ~ Insecticides are polluting the Earth one bug at a time. Whether you are spraying it on yourself, setting ant traps or spraying it into the air to kill flies or bees, it’s doing more harm than good. The circle of life has purpose and those little bugs feed birds and other animals and insects. Yes, they are annoying but citronella nd herbal repellant candles and sprays keep away flying insects. Try sprinkling corn starch where you have ants. Both are effective and safer.

Live in the moment but act for the future. Every decision we make will impact us and future generations. 

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