Summer is quickly approaching which means it is a great time to get outdoors and reconnect with nature. Planning activities with family, friends, and loved ones may prove to be a challenge, especially if you want to engage in environmentally friendly fun. Don’t be afraid to park the car in the garage (and leave it there) and get creative. The following are a few tips for a fun filled, eco friendly summer.
1. Build a terrarium. Go to your garage or local Goodwill for used items like vases, mason jars, and fish bowls. You can create a mini-ecosystem with desert, ocean, or riparian themes by planting one or two small plants on top of a few inches of sand or sand soil mix.
Using sand, rocks, or shells you may have collected from a vacation, you can decorate the inside of your terrarium. If you are a first time terrarium builder, try a desert theme since these plants tend to be less sensitive to various climates and do not need to be watered as often.
2. Go berry picking. This is a great opportunity to take your family or a loved one out of town for a day while enjoying the sun. Small children especially like eating as they go, connecting with nature, and spending time outdoors.
3. Plant a garden. Whether you are a seasoned gardener or you are just beginning, planting something edible or beautiful will help you find your way outside without the use of a vehicle. If you are starting your own seeds, re-using egg cartons is a great environmental and economical choice. You can also put old yogurt tubs or plastic gallon milk jugs to use by placing them out in the rain, allowing water to collect for when you may want to water your garden.
4. Go for a swim. The perfect way to cool off in the summer is be revisiting your favorite swimming hole. If you are near a lake, river, or the ocean, you can avoid pool chemicals and get a little exercise by visiting one of these natural water sources. Don’t forget to check that the area you are planning to swim in is safe for recreational use.
5. Ride bikes to the library. There are few better ways to get around in the summer than riding your bike. Biking to your local library for an afternoon of book perusing is a great way to spend some time researching a new subject you might be interested in (like gardening) or looking for some light summer reading.
6. Go for a hike. Put some miles on your hiking shoes by taking a stroll through a local forest or hiking trail. It’s a good idea to check out the trails ahead of time if you aren’t accustomed to steep or strenuous conditions. If you are interested in the local habitat, plant and insect guides are often available at the library for checkout.
7. Visit the science museum. If the weather outside is too hot for outdoor activities, the science museum may be just the break you need. Most science museums have special exhibits; which change a few times a year. If it’s been awhile since you’ve been to the museum, check to see which exhibit is being displayed.