3 Tips for a Nontoxic Summer

As I’ve been anticipating this summer, I can’t help but hope that it should be one of the best summers in a long time. My children are getting old enough to really enjoy themselves outside. I spent all winter and spring purging and cleaning my house so I didn’t have to stay cooped inside once the weather got nicer. As far as my husband and I have planned, we shouldn’t have any major life events this summer – it’s the first summer in years that we don’t have to worry about moving or settling in to a new home.

3 Tips for a Nontoxic SummerGranted, plenty of surprises will probably come up and the summer could turn out radically different. But I long for the summer days and nights spent outdoors. I drool a little when I think of the crop we should get from our garden. I’m looking forward to the simple pleasures of summer: chasing fireflies at dusk, picking berries, watching parades, spending sunny days at the beach, having cookouts with family and friends, and heading to the county fair.

If you’ve noticed, my main theme for this summer is to get outside. I want to stay safe while enjoying ourselves, though, and here are my Top 3 Tips for Having a Nontoxic Summer:

Tip 1: Use safe sunscreen.
I want my family to soak in Vitamin D from sunshine – so we won’t be covered in sunscreen every time we step out the door. When we know we’ll be outside for a while, though, we’ll slather on our sunscreen. This is the third summer in a row that I’ve invested in safe, mineral-based varieties. I believe it’s totally worth the extra expense. (You can read more about sunscreen safety and my recommendations by clicking here.)

Tip 2: Use safe bug repellent.
Whether you’re tromping through the wilderness or out on your patio enjoying a refreshing drink, you want to protect yourself from mosquitoes and their nasty bites. While there are plenty of natural ways to prevent mosquitoes around your home, you can’t go everywhere this summer lugging potted marigolds or basil plants. You can make your own mosquito repellent, though. It’s incredibly easy and effective. I’ll never go back to using toxic repellents.

Tip 3: Weed the old-fashioned way.
Lawn services certainly produce immaculate looking lawns, don’t they? Within my lifetime I’ve been surprised to watch the evolution of lawns. I remember when lawns used to be dotted with dandelions – yet now they mimic golf courses. It’s unnatural to have acres of green grass. (Have you seen many nature preserves that look like this?) I realize dandelions aren’t desirable to everyone. But the herbicides used on lawns are poisonous. It’s difficult to condone frolicking in the yard when the grass is covered in toxins. Opt for natural lawn care techniques to protect the health of yourself and others. And instead of squirting a toxic spray to get rid of weeds, take care of them the old fashioned way – use some physical effort.

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Today I’m linking up with Time Warp Wife.

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Hilary Kimes Bernstein is a Christ follower, wife, mama, and journalist. She writes about making healthy decisions that honor God and happen to help the environment at Accidentally Green. Short and sweet - like her writing - Hilary is the author of several healthy living eBooks.

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