A sustainable, eco-friendly summer? It’s possible!

A sustainable, eco-friendly summer? It’s possible!

July 06, 2021

A sustainable, eco-friendly summer? It’s possible!

Whether you've planned a camping holiday or a holiday in the city, at the beach or simply at home, you should bear in mind that every action has an impact on the environment, from food choices to transport preferences

Now that the good weather has arrived, here are some practical tips for a sustainable summer.

Choose an alternative way to travel

Let’s start with transportation. Whenever possible, public transport should be the preferred option even for long-distance journeys, avoiding air travel as much as possible due to its major impact on carbon emissions. For getting around the city, good weather is a great opportunity to finally use your bike (in fact, cycling is fashionable again, also for eco-friendly trips). For lazy people and those who love to travel on the road, an electric car is the ideal choice and can also be rented just for the holiday.

Drink plenty of water... from your thermos

Every year, we produce more than 300 million tons of plastic, half of which is single-use. Since it is important to drink plenty of fluids in summer, make sure you take a thermos with you, which you can refill during the day, to reduce plastic bottle waste. It is also a way to avoid wasting resources: if the water gets too warm to drink, you can reuse it to water your plants, to wet your hair under the sun or a hot forehead.


Keep one eye on your plate and the other on the environment

Summer and travelling around the world are an opportunity to discover new flavors. Choosing local dishes is important, not only in terms of environmental impact but also in terms of health, as they are usually made with fresher ingredients. When temperatures soar, it is best to stay hydrated with food by eating lots of fruit and vegetables and reducing meat consumption as much as you can, more than during the rest of the year. Going on a trip, but also spending summer at the beach, can be an excellent opportunity to try making new healthy vegetarian recipes. For your packed lunch, in the shade of a beach umbrella, make sure you choose recyclable or reusable materials and avoid using plastic plates and cutlery.

What about air conditioning?

There is no doubt that the best choice in terms of sustainability and ecological footprint is to give up air conditioning. However, during certain periods in the summer, global warming and soaring temperatures have led to a marked increase in the use of this appliance. It is important to use air conditioning in an efficient and cost-effective way to avoid health problems, to save on bills and to avoid unnecessary pollution. It is best to get used to using air conditioning only during the hottest hours of the day and only when it is really necessary, turning it off when you don’t need it. Whether at home or in your car, you should close all doors and windows to prevent cool air from going out and hot air from coming in at the same time, thus counteracting the effects of air conditioning. Similarly, at home you should prevent cool air from seeping out by closing shutters and, possibly, by applying solar film to windows. A good way of reducing heat in your home without cooling it too much is to use a dehumidifier, which consumes less than air conditioning and allows you to feel the heat less

Masks alarm

With the COVID-19 pandemic there is a new problem associated with the summer, arising from the use and disposal of protective masks. So-called eco-friendly or community masks (made of fabric or other recyclable materials) are only appropriate, if authorized, where there is a low presence of the virus. Where there is a high presence of the virus or dangerous variants it is essential to wear a mask registered as a personal protective device. This has a major environmental impact, particularly given the large amounts being produced and their frequent replacement. It is important to be clear that protecting our health and that of the community should be our prime concern, so we should not hold back on using efficient and validated protective devices. There is however a way to try to limit the harm, remembering to always dispose of used masks in the garbage can, not disposing of them on the beach or in the environment and using them for the full number of hours recommended by the manufacturer before replacing them.

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