7 Eco-Friendly Activities to Add to Your Summer Bucket List

"Here are some summer activities that are both fun for you *and* good for the planet."

Ahh, summer. Is there anything better than warm temperatures and extra-long, sunny days? There’s so many different ways to enjoy the season, from reading at the pool to eating at your favorite outdoor restaurant. And there are some eco-friendly activities you can add to your summer bucket list, too.

Summer’s balmy climate lends itself to a variety of outdoor activities that will keep you on your toes and away from your phone. It’s also a great time to contribute to your community and help the planet, all while having a whole lot of fun in the process. Here are some of the best eco-friendly summer activities to start with.

7 Eco-Friendly Summer Activities

1. Host a Beach Clean-Up

eco-friendly summer activities

It doesn’t get more summery and eco-friendly than this. According to National Geographic, there are 5.25 trillion pieces (and counting) of garbage in the ocean. Gather some of your closest pals for a beach clean-up, or host an open event for anyone in your area to participate in. You can even make a day out of it and have a picnic on the beach afterwards.

2. Go On a Hike

travel sustainably

Immerse yourself in the wonders of nature by going on a hike. It’s a fulfilling activity that you can do with a group or on your own. Aside from being great exercise, hikes are also the perfect way to relax and have a moment to yourself. Past studies have shown spending time out in nature can booth your mood, reduce stress, and improve your mental health overall.

3. Visit Your Local Farmers’ Market

eco-friendly summer activities

Visiting your local farmer’s market both supports your community and promotes sustainability. Food in the United States travels an average of 1,500 miles to get to your plate. By purchasing locally-grown produce, you can rest assured that your food has a much smaller footprint than its supermarket counterparts. Take home all your fresh, organic goodies and prepare a delicious low-waste meal.

4. Start a Garden

eco-friendly summer activities

Have you been wanting to start your own garden? There isn’t a better time than now! There’s a myriad of plants that thrive in summery weather, from tomatoes to melons. Decide what you want to grow, hit up a nursery near you, and purchase what you need to begin planting. There’s few things more satisfying than tending to a garden and getting to reap the (literal) fruits of your labor.

5. Try a Low-Waste DIY

diy pin board
Photo: Tina Le

Not too keen on the hot weather? You can still have some fun indoors, too. If you’re the crafty type and have some old clothes or scraps, spin them into something new by trying a low-waste DIY project. Make a coconut planter, dye a t-shirt with food scraps, or transform an old rug into a boho pin board. You’ll get something new without actually having to purchase anything at all.

6. Go Camping

eco-friendly camping gear

If you really want to get really up close and personal with Mother Nature, go on an eco-friendly camping trip. Spend a night under the moon toasting marshmallows by the fire, then fall asleep under the stars. You can even make your camping trip more green by opting for reusables, making your own food instead of buying it, and leaving no trace before you leave.

7. Start Composting

eco-friendly summer activities

Have a bunch of food scraps or newspapers that you feel bad about throwing out? Try composting them instead. Pick the perfect spot for your new composting bin, and begin adding your food waste. Aside from being able to dispose of things like banana peels and nail clippings in a more eco-conscious way, it’s also really fun. You can even go the worm bin route and get some squirmy new pets out of the deal!

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Here are some summer activities that are both fun for you *and* good for the planet.

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