Green Tips to Have a Great Summer!

Be Eco-Responsible This Summer With Family-Friendly Hacks


Photo by Aline Bloch


I am a globe-trotter, a travel lover, and an exploration addict. Since childhood, I have always traveled. My parents took me to a lot of places and countries, including Morocco, Tunisia, Greece, Italy, Spain, Turkey, South Africa, and more. My husband, too, is a nomad; he traveled and lived in South America, Indonesia, and Europe. So, when he asked me to move out of the country 12 years ago, I was thrilled.

I love discovering new cultures and new people, and I love exploring new cities and tasting new foods. Traveling is a top priority, and it’s even more important that we do it with our kids. But living green and traveling can be tricky.


Traveling “green” is absolutely possible; it demands a bit of consideration and organization. Let me help you with this. This summer, I have some tips to help you stay eco-responsible while having fun and enjoying your time off.



Picnic Hacks

Living Green Rule: Ditch the plastic at the picnic


• Keep it simple and homemade

• Buy fresh and local foods

• Wrap tarts and quiches in a towel using the furoshiki wrapping technique with square cloth

• Prepare your salads in individual jars – each person has one and you do not need extra plate!


Camping Hacks

Living Green Rule: Leave no trace.


Mosquitoes and bugs love camping, too. Did you know that sage smoke, cedar, and citronella leaves are great natural repellents? If it’s too late: apply honey or banana peel to stop the itch.

• Do you want spiders and ants in your sleeping bag? Peppermint oil is a great repellent for spiders and ants. Drop some around the tent.

• Who likes pancakes for breakfast? You can reuse a ketchup bottle or water bottle to mix your ingredients and shake it!

• The best part of a camp out is scary stories. Add some spooky ambiance with a lantern. Create a nice, bright lantern by reusing a gallon milk jug with a headlamp attached, facing into the jug.

• Pack a bar of castile soap. It washes your dishes, your hands, your body, and your hair. • Bring your travel kit (see above).

• Respect the environment and be sure to recycle properly.


Staycation Hacks

Living Green Rule: Schedule three off-site activities per week.


• Control your energy consumption. Save water as much as possible, open your windows and drapes for natural light, and air-dry your laundry when possible.

• Grill up food – BBQ is the best!

• Hit the road for a day. Find a corner of the state you have not visited yet. Take on a challenge to visit the most places in a month, let the kids color a map, and bring back a meaningful souvenir from all the places you explored.

• Unplug for a day…or two!

• Read “green” books. Borrow or exchange them with your neighbors or at the little free libraries available around the community.

• Plan “green” summer activities for kids. Some ideas are plant a flower, build an ant farm, build a bird feeder using recycled materials, bike or walk while geocaching, try papermaking, have a backyard campout.



Flight/Hotel Hacks

Living Green Rule: Keep up your “at home” green habits.


• Bring reusable bags for potential grocery store trips.

• Reuse towels at the hotel – like at home, right?

• Bring your own toiletries. Do not use the mini bottles, the containers end up in a landfill.

• Did you know we each use an average of four plastic cups per flight? Bring your own reusable cup.

• Pack a snack – it’s easier, healthier, cheaper, and greener.

• No straw, no straw, no straw!


My ultimate tip is be conscious that your small actions during your vacation can make a big difference!



Create a green travel kit

Put everything in a cooler and you’re ready to go! You can use this kit for road trips, camping, or picnics.


  • Reusable water bottle

  • Reusable cups and plates

  • Tea towels

  • Reusable containers/jars

  • Paper bags for trash

  • Reusable bags

  • Sharp knife Beeswax food wraps Homemade sanitizer

  • Cutlery set (metal or bamboo, no plastic)

  • Blanket

  • Ball (for play)





“This story was first published in Issaquah Highlands’ Connections news, July 2020”



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