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Friday, August 26, 2011

Summer Is Almost Over but There's Still Time to Throw in a Little Eco

Are you considering adding a little eco to your last bit of summer fun but you’re worried it will be too difficult or time consuming?

You forget about those worries because going eco can be easier than you ever imagined.

Here are some easy eco summer tips that anyone can do:

Support local farmers. If you don’t have a green thumb or if you want a larger selection than what you can grow visit local Farmer’s Markets and roadside veggie stands. Even if the produce isn’t organic, shopping local is far greener than buying produce that’s been grown and shipped from hundreds and thousands of miles away. Plus you are supporting the local economy.

Visit LocalHarvest.org to find markets near you.

Shop Green. One of the things I love most about summer is all of the garage sales, flea markets, and yard sales. I love “treasure hunting” for amazing steals, deals and unique finds. Not only can you find toys and clothes for the kids you can even find some amazing items to decorate your home, yard and garden- especially if you know how to refinish furniture or craftily upcycle items that may need a little TLC.

Why is shopping this way green? Because it’s all used and pre-owned items- no new materials are used to make them and once again it’s a great way to support the local economy.

Party Green. Summer is filled with backyard BBQs, cookouts, picnics, and parties – and the last thing you want to deal with is a sink full of dishes after a big get together. But filling the garage bin with plastic cups, plates and silverware isn’t very eco.

Good thing there are many eco options now when it comes to eco friendly yet disposable tableware. The key thing for maximum eco-effectiveness though is that the eco-tableware should be composted so it biodegrades faster- the way it was meant to. If it isn’t possible to compost the disposables- it is still greener to have used eco-versions instead of plastic and Styrofoam- neither is very eco.

There’s a wealth of places online where you can stock up on eco-goods. BambuHome.com, Verterra.com, EcoWareProducts.com, EarthenTrading.ca, Birchaware.com, GreenPartyGoods.com, and GreenPlanetParties.com all offer different types of eco-party and tableware supplies: plates, bowls, napkins, eco “silverware”, cups, and tablecloths made from eco-friendly, sustainable, recycled or recyclable materials.

Have a local green vacation- or even better a staycation. By staying local you support the local economy and save on travel expenses and carbon emissions- both very green things to do.

Another great green option is having a “staycation”. You can pitch a tent in your own backyard and have a campout with the kids without ever going anywhere. You can also explore local attractions that you may not have visited before- or at least haven’t visited in awhile.

And don’t forget there’s always a festival or carnival going on throughout the summer- be sure to include a few of those in your local summer fun.

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