5 Ways to Live Sustainably This Summer

I love discovering super simple ways to lead a more sustainable, environmentally friendly lifestyle. This post is inspired by the Today We Will newsletter which I have been signed up to for a while now. Created by Olivia Gossett Cooper, the not-for-profit newsletter shares a variety of sustainability tips which are easy to incorporate into our daily lives.

Knowing where to start when wanting to lead a more environmentally friendly lifestyle can be daunting, but Today We Will makes it much more accessible for me. Sometimes we have a mindset of 'all or nothing' and give up before trying because it's just too overwhelming. We can feel like our actions as an individual won't really make a difference.

But something as easy as not using a plastic straw for one week still cuts down the overall global usage. Try and think of this when deciding whether your actions are worth it or not. As Olivia states on Today We Will, it is about the "collective big impact" which wouldn't exist without our individual actions, no matter how big or small.

Nobody is perfect and it's not always possible or realistic to make certain environmentally friendly lifestyle choices, but here are five that should be pretty easy to adopt to live sustainably this summer.

1. Buy non-packaged watermelon

Ah yes, watermelon, one of summer's most popular fruits. Watermelon juices have been popping up all over the shop recently which means you may be craving the fruit itself very soon thanks to accompanying adverts. When you do cave into your watermelon craving, please buy a whole fruit, rather than pre-packaged slices. It may be easier, but that plastic is definitely not easier on the environment.

Not only will you be protecting the environment, but it's also cheaper for you. From my research at Tesco, ASDA and Sainsbury's, a watermelon providing about 4 to 7kg of edible watermelon (not the rind) is £2 - £3. Packaged options are on a whole other level. Sainsbury's sells 400g of watermelon chunks for £2. So 4kg worth of chunks (4kg being the minimum edible average of a whole watermelon) would cost you £10. TEN POUNDS. Prices at time of writing.

Instead you could just buy the whole watermelon for £2 - 3 and get many more grams for your money. All whilst protecting the environment without all that plastic packaging. Now go buy that beautifully spherical green non-packaged whole watermelon.

2. Sleep naked

I sleep naked whether the sun is shining or snow is falling but I know a lot of you won't have tried this before. The first time may feel a little unusual, but I have felt very liberated since ditching PJs and bed socks. I also believe my body confidence has increased because of it. How does this help the environment you ask? Well, simply because it reduces the amount of laundry you do, saving energy.

If you wear your pyjamas to lounge around in, do what I do and have one or two sets that you use solely for this purpose (no sleeping in them!) This means you don't have to wash them every time you wear them, because it's only your household that will be subject to your B.O. If they complain, just tell them you're saving the planet. You can't argue with that.

3. Buy biodegradable eco-friendly sun screen

I had never heard of biodegradable sun screen before Today We Will brought it to my attention. The trouble with sun screen is that many chemicals found in the substance damage the ocean and coral reefs. I absolutely love holidaying on white sandy beaches, but I hate the thought I am harming the natural environment whilst doing so.

In all honesty I am still a little unsure about which brands are most eco-friendly or biodegradable, but that's why we have doctors and scientists and experts to help us out. This article by Jess Denham on the Independent lists 5 environmentally friendly sun screens. They are expensive, but while more research is done (by the scientists and myself) I think this list is a good place to start.

Right now I have my bottle of Neutrogena sunscreen by my side, which contains 3 chemicals noted in the article on The Independent as causing harm to the environment. Once this bottle is done, I'll look into buying a more sustainable alternative, hopefully one a little cheaper than the 5 listed.

4. Order summer drinks on tap, not a can or glass bottle

This is another choice I've never really given much thought to. When asked if you'd prefer tap or a can/bottle what do you say? I was pretty amazed to learn from this article (via Today We Will) that in terms of packaging per serving kegs are actually lighter than glass bottles, meaning less packaging is used overall.

What I drank from used to make no difference to me, but now that I know it's more sustainable to have a drink from a keg rather than can or glass bottle, I'll be ordering on tap whenever possible.

5. Eat your ice cream in a cone and ditch the tub

Guilty as charged. I almost always buy my ice cream in a tub simply because I don't like finishing my ice cream and being left with a dry cone. But in a lot of places these tubs are unfortunately not recyclable. Add to that the cute rainbow but not-so-cute-because-it-is-plastic spoon you also use and it's not a very environmentally friendly treat at all.

By switching to a cone you can enjoy your ice cream sustainably. And for those of you, like me, who dislike having a dry cone to eat at the end, I offer you two options:

  1. Master the art of pushing your ice cream down the cone with your tongue throughout the eating activity. This will not be graceful, but you will be saving the planet with every nudge of the tongue.
  2. Find a friend, relative or hungry stranger who will demolish the cone for you.

I hope you have found these tips helpful and that you can try and adopt even one or two this summer! If you'd like more easy tips on how to live a more sustainable life, I highly recommend subscribing to the Today We Will newsletter I mentioned at the start of the post. Let me know if you sign up!

Have an amazing and sustainable summer friends.

Outfit photography by Alice from Twenty-Something City.

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