Published: June 16, 2021 By

Summertime, as relaxing as it can be to have a break from school and be surrounded by friends and family while basking in the sunshine and warm weather, it can prove to be challenging to maintain sustainability. But this does not have to be the case! Here are some zero waste summer activities and tips to keep in mind.

While in Boulder:

  • Visit the Farmers Market on Wednesday’s 4pm-8pm and Saturday’s 8am-2pm to support local farmers and businesses to get fresh fruits and vegetables and more!

    • Farmers Markets are a great way to have a plastic-free grocery shopping trip and to try some new fresh vegetables and fruits that are in season!

  • Use Bcycle to get around if you do not own a bike!

  • If you have trouble making it to the farmers market every week, consider the Longmont Simply Bulk Market! Get everything for your picnics, barbeques, camping trips, and more!

Other Zero Waste Summer Tips:

  • Summer recipes, pinterest is full of zero waste recipes for all diets and summer trends.

  • Set up backyard composting! Check out this article done by a fellow member of ZWOT. 

  • Zero waste picnics! Instead of bringing single-use plastics to a picnic, opt for tupperware and reusables.

  • Plan a staycation! Instead of flying somewhere for a getaway or driving several miles, consider finding new museums or campsites to visit around your town. 

    • Think ahead with reusables and utensils for all the pitstops you may make 

    • Bring your own food to reduce packaging waste from gas station food. 

  • Mason jars are a summer staple! Bring them to fill up bulk food, to make fresh squeezed lemonade, or even store food!

Zero Waste Activities:

  • Zero waste Barbeques/Grilling:

    • Make sure you let your friends know ahead of time that your goal is to have a zero waste BBQ! That way they know if they were to bring something with them, to bring it in a reusable container with a resealable lid

    • BYO: bring your own utensils and cups!

    • Set up a compost area as well as a recycling bin so they have no choice but to dispose of their items properly!

    • Plan the food and appetizers around what items you already have in your kitchen, get creative with recipes!

  • Zero Waste day at the beach/reservoir/lake or Tubing at the creek:

    • Bring your own snacks in reusable containers! And bring your reusable utensils to eat these snacks

    • Clean up after yourself!! Even spend a few minutes cleaning up some of the surrounding trash and be an eco warrior! 

    • Pack a cooler

    • Take nothing, leave nothing

    • Use a reef-safe sunscreen, especially when at the beach and it is safer for your skin! Some reef-safe sunscreen brands include: 

      • Thinksport

      • Kokua Sun Care

      • All Good

      • Suntegrity

      • Raw Elements

      • Babo Botanicals

      • Art of Sport

      • And many more!

  • Zero Waste Festivals/fairs:

    • You have the choice to make your experience as zero waste as possible!

    • Bring your own mason jar, this is great for water refill stations and for any other drinks you buy

    • Brining a bandana/reusable napkin 

    • A foldable reusable utensil is also essential

Zero Waste Camping, Pack Your Trash!

  • Leave no trace! 

  • Set up your own zero waste system, with recycling and composting!

  • Make sure to bring your reusables, including a camping kitchen kit, investing in a portable grill that will last you for all of your camping trips is essential and extremely sustainable!

  • Prep some bulk snacks for the entire trip, since snacks tend to generate the most waste while camping or on roadtrips, try to avoid this by making a big batch of energy balls, or jerkies, etc. that will most likely last the whole trip! 

  • Opt for reusable propane canisters

  • If you have to recycle the propane canisters you would have to do so at Boulder Household hazardous waste

  • If you have accumulated plastic bags and/or chip bags from grocery stores, use them as dog poop bags if you bring pets with you camping. 

  • Borrowing or renting gear when you do not have your own is more eco-friendly, but only do this if you are not one for camping often, otherwise it is definitely worthwhile to invest in lifelong camping gear. 

  • Repair your gear! Do this instead of throwing items out, oftentimes it should be an easy fix if you bring it into any local outdoor wear shop, they will most likely be able to repair it for you. 

Prep for Move-in/out:

  • When preparing for move in/out, keep in mind these sustainable tips:

    • Wrap anything fragile in t-shirts or any soft fabrics you are going to bring with you, instead of plastic wrap

    • Use biodegradable packing materials as much as possible

    • Be mindful about recycling and make sure you know where your recycling goes in your new place! If you are moving to an entirely new state it is very possible that the recycling systems are completely different, so make sure you learn how it works there.

    • Limit your electronic waste and look for Energy Star labeled products that use less energy!

    • Choose LED bulbs for any lights you may need.

  • Check out these articles for more specific information for move out off campus and on campus.