Summer Zero Waste Swaps

Living in Texas, I’m used to brutal summers. However, summer came early this year! We’ve already had our 100+ degree days and the humidity is downright oppressive right now. The heat has me thinking about all the little things we can do this summer to cut down on waste.

Ice cream: Get the cone instead of the cup! No wasteful plastic spoon or cup required. And for at home ice cream, I DIY my own 4-ingredient ice cream with our secondhand ice cream maker (it’s so easy)! Also — you can take a pint or quart container to a local ice cream shop and ask if they will fill it up for you.
Popsicles: Avoid the plastic wrappers and make your own popsicles. Compost the wooden sticks afterwards.
Berries: This is THE time of the year to find your local berry farm (or head to the farmer’s market) to procure package free berries. We’ve picked strawberries, blueberries, and blackberries this way — bonus, it’s an inexpensive way to have delicious berries year round since these guys freeze really well. I still have blueberries in the freezer from last summer!

Water: I carry my trusty Que bottle with me everywhere and refill it as needed. Remember to take your reusable bottle with you on your summer travels, the beach, the park, etc.!
Straws: We seem to use straws way more in the summer time, what with all the delicious icy beverages available. Make sure to carry your stainless steel straw with you at all times — you never know when you’ll need it!


Sunscreen: First off, ALWAYS wear sunscreen — no matter the packaging. Health first. However. There are plenty of options these days for recyclable packaging. My go-to is spray sunscreen in the steel or aluminum cans. Once COMPLETELY empty, pop off the plastic lid and recycle the spray can with the rest of your steel and aluminum.
Body scrubs: The sun and sand usually wreak havoc on my skin. Instead of buying body scrubs (usually in plastic containers), I just make my own using whatever oils I have (coconut or olive oil), a pinch of salt, and coffee grounds. (Bonus: apparently the caffeine in coffee is great for cellulite!)

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