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Sustainable Summer Bucket List

Summer is fast approaching! Here in Boston, temperatures have already reached nearly 90 degrees this May, reminding us all of the warm temperatures approaching. It isn't too long scrolling on social media that I find another "summer bucket list" post or "fun things to do with your friends this summer." However, it can be so simple to take any one of these fun activities and turn them into something that can help our environment. If you're interested in making a difference, spread this list of activities on your own social media to promote a greener summer.

Without further ado, here is Tree-Plenish's Things to Do this Summer (while casually bettering the planet):

1. Sunset bike ride

Biking is a great opportunity for you to take in the views of nature, but also it significantly decreases your carbon footprint compared to other modes of transportation. To make this a fun activity, bike with your friends to the town center, or rent a bike to travel around your city. I highly recommend biking during sunset after getting food, for example.

2. Trip to the city via subway

Want to go somewhere? Take the train/subway with friends! Traveling is more fun when you're doing it with someone, and roaming around the subway station is always a memorable experience.

3. Cute summer foods

Summer is the time where we tend to eat a lot of fruit, salads, and overall lighter foods. This is perhaps an optimal time to try to eat more sustainably. For example, this could mean reducing your meat consumption, as livestock production accounts for around 15% of global greenhouse gas emissions. Of course, the vegan/vegetarian lifestyle is not for everybody, but even if you don't want to eliminate meat from your diet entirely, you can get creative with your summer recipes to try some vegetarian alternatives.

4. Go to a farmer's market

I think farmer's markets are super cute and a great experience to shop at. They often have all sorts of events, like plant sales or food truck tasting, and the produce is extremely fresh. Farmer's markets also contribute significantly less pollution than supermarkets, since their growing practices are more sustainable, and buying there helps support your local community.

5. Shop local boutiques

Fast fashion is a huge contributor to climate change, contributing about 10% of CO2 emissions. If you're wondering, "what stores are considered fast fashion?" it's almost all of the big names. Not just Shein, but H&M, American Eagle, Target, even Abercrombie & Fitch. I know a lot of us need to get a new "summer wardrobe," so try to shop more local brands, such as small boutiques in your city. Instead of going to another mall or shopping online, you get to discover a bunch of local small-businesses who put much more authenticity in their designs and are often higher quality.

6. Road trip!

Road trips are my favorite thing to do over the summer, whether it's with your family or your friends. Since the weather is usually much nicer where you live in summertime, enjoy vacationing at spots near where you live! Planes emit much more CO2 than cars or public transport, so avoiding them when possible can significantly reduce your carbon footprint.  Limit the time you spend driving, but if you're carpooling with a group of people, playing karaoke and rolling your windows down can be even better than the destination.

7. To make the biggest impact, join or start an environmental organization

If you find you have extra time this summer and are passionate about the environment, perhaps the best thing you can do is make change on a larger scale than yourself. Joining an environmental organization, such as Tree-Plenish, can connect you with your community and work together towards the shared goal of a greener earth. You can also volunteer your time, find a part-time job, or clean up plastic in a local area. If you're already reading this article, I know you have what it takes.


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