The Family Home Blog

Green Family Activities for Summer

Jul 05, 2016
Diane Hoffmaster

With fewer commitments and more daylight hours, summer is the perfect time for family fun. The stress of the school year has fallen away and more people are taking vacation, heading into the woods or just spending some time in their own backyard. Every choice we make for family fun will have an impact on the world around us. There are many green family activities that provide plenty of fun while keeping our carbon footprint low. If you are looking for ways to entertain your family while treading lightly on the planet, here are a few ideas you might enjoy:

Bicycle along lake front path

Take a bicycle ride:
Instead of jumping in your car to find some summer fun, try jumping on your bicycle instead. Not only is bicycle riding a green activity, it will also help keep you in good shape. Many major cities rent bicycles if you don't have your own.

Go camping: Getting back to nature is a great way to have fun with your kids. Remember to pack reusable plates and cutlery to reduce your carbon footprint. Check out these camping tips before you head out. Remember to take only pictures and leave only footprints!

Go on a scavenger hunt: A nature-based scavenger hunt is a great way to get kids outside and teach them about the world around them. Help them identify different types of trees based on their leaves. Find certain types of rocks or identify common bugs. Keep a checklist of the things you find and take along a camera to capture great family memories.

Host a family or neighborhood movie night: Sitting outside while watching a movie under the stars is a great way to have fun as a family. Make your own popcorn and buy or borrow a projector and you can have fun all summer! Check out these tips for a neighborhood movie night and get the neighbors involved as well!

Go on a picnic: Packing up a basket full of homemade treats and lounging around on a blanket can be relaxing and quite a bit of fun. Most towns have a neighborhood park which is the perfect location for a lunch under the sun. Take your food along in reusable ZiplocĀ® Brand Containers, and don't forget to pack up your trash and bring it home when you are done!

Take a stay-cation: With a limited budget, long vacations are often not possible. A staycation is not only less expensive than a traditional long distance trip, it is also easier on the planet since it uses less gasoline. Find a nice hotel to stay in for a night or two and enjoy a nearby big city that offers zoos, aquariums and museums. Sometimes, just making the most of where you live can be a lot of fun!

Outdoor games: As parents, we often forget the enjoyment we got from simply playing outside.  Relearn simple games like hide and seek, badminton or even a game of Twister on the back lawn. Sometimes, just setting aside the to-do list and playing with the kids can create a world of enjoyment.

Can you think of any other eco-friendly summer activities that your family would enjoy?

Photo courtesy of Diane Hoffmaster.

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