Photo by Geoff Duncan

Ahhh summer. For many of us, this means longer days, trips to the beach, and loads of sunshine. Even though I live in Southern California, where one might argue summer is virtually year-long, I still get really excited when June rolls around, and summer is on the way. But the alluring smell of sunscreen and warm, whimsical vibes are no reason to throw our conscious ways to the wind. Here are seven simple ideas to having a happy, conscious summer.

01 | Grab Your Go-To Summer Essentials From Conscious Companies
Need new summer gear?  Opt for brands that give back. Like Behold & See, who’s Handmade Mexican Blankets are perfect for the beach, and each helps provide financial stability for underserved families in Mexico. Or sunglasses from Solo Eyewear that are ethically made, eco-friendly and help restore vision around the world.

02 | Support Summer Programs For Underserved Kids
Summer can be really tough on low-income families. With school out of session, many face the high cost of childcare and the need to provide additional meals that are often free during the school year. Help out by finding a local youth-focused organization that offers free or low-cost summer programs and donate your time, money or both!

03 | Use Clean Products For Sun Safety
Sunscreen and lip balm are essential for summer, but many of them contain harmful chemicals and additives that are bad for you and the environment. Look for safe, nontoxic and eco-friendly products from brands like True Natural or COOLA that are chemical-free, cruelty-free and biodegradable.

04 | Help Protect The Beaches And Parks
Our favorite outdoor spots see a lot more people and, therefore, litter throughout the season, which can cause harm to plants and animals. You can do your part by gathering your friends, putting on your gloves and making sure your summer space is kept clean and safe.

05 | Explore A New Culture
Summer is the perfect time to take a road trip. Even if it’s not far from home, finding and experiencing a new culture that’s different from your own will broaden your perspectives and give you a better worldview that promotes compassion and empathy.

06 | Bike + Walk
Take advantage of the nice weather and opt for your bike or your feet in the summer. Skipping the car helps reduce carbon emissions, traffic congestion and the need for petroleum, plus its exercise! It’s good for the planet and your health.

07 | Plant A Community Garden
Summer is a great time to garden in many areas, and community gardens can improve access to fresh fruits and vegetables in food deserts where these options are often unavailable. You can help increase food security by starting or joining a community garden effort.

Summer is by far my favorite season. I hope yours is full of light and fun and conscious living. Enjoy!

At Conscious, we are inspired by stories that cause us to think differently and think big-picture, and so we set out to tell stories with the help of leaders and influencers within the social good community. You can read more stories like this when you join as a member.