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BellaOnline's Natural Living Editor

Summer Living

Summer time lends itself to living more naturally. People spend more time outdoors. We can utilize the resources Mother Earth gives us and have a wonderful summer. Here you will find great tips and ideas that you may not have previously thought about.

When you can, hang your wet clothes outside. Forgo the dryer and utilize the rays from the sun. Also, the sun is a good bleacher. If you have stains, pretreat them inside, wash, then hang them outside to see how powerful the sun is at bleaching.

Good Summer Eats
Plant a garden with your family. Use a small raised bed to plant things such as tomatoes, some herbs, and lettuces. You will be amazed at the yield!

Make sun tea. Gather a large glass container and place in one tea bag for every pint of water. Let the glass container sit in the sun for the day. Bring it inside and add ice and lemon.

Make your own ice cream. For a healthier, dairy free version, try this: Use 3 cups of coconut milk, 1/2 cup of coconut sugar, vanilla to taste, and a handful of chocolate chips. Place in a blender, then freeze. Nothing artificial to worry about here!

Go pick berries or frequent your local farmer's market. It is a great time to score some local produce and take an adventure to somewhere you wouldn't normally go. Make it a day and plan a picnic lunch and make a stop at a local park.

Forgo the fast food. When you are out on a road trip, skip the fast food and pack a cooler. Add nutritious foods like cut up fruits and veggies along with hummus. Pack some cheeses and nuts. Don't forget the refreshing water! If kids like some flavor to their drinks, add in some yummy fruits like raspberries or strawberries.

Be Outside
Enjoy the warmer weather and scout out a local park you have not visited. Does your local community have a splash pad? Enjoy the natural water by visiting a local lake or beach. Try your hand at geocaching. Geocaching is a treasure hunt using your GPS or phone. People hide "caches" and other geocachers try to find them. For the adventurous, try camping. Gather family members and make some memories!

Natural Sunscreen
Protecting yourself from the sun is important. First, try wearing loose fitting cotton clothes that breathe and wear a wide brimmed hat. When wearing sunscreen is necessary please look for organic products with the minimal number of chemicals. Steer clear of oxybenzone, parabens, phthalates, polyethylene, glycols, sodium laurel sulfate, etc. Good sunscreens use zinc oxide and provide protection against UVB and UVA rays. The Environmental Working Group at: www.ewg.org lists the best sunscreens to buy and the ones to avoid.

Summertime can be such a great time to explore Mother Nature and to appreciate all she has to offer. Get outside and enjoy the natural resources.

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Content copyright © 2013 by Aimee Wood. All rights reserved.
This content was written by Aimee Wood. If you wish to use this content in any manner, you need written permission. Contact Katherine Tsoukalas for details.

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