Spending time outside with friends and family is certainly one of the best pastimes during the summer months. Minnesota has plenty to offer for activities to do outside. However, while participating in such activities, it’s important to also think of the environment. Here are some tips for how to stay green while having fun in the outdoors this summer:

  • Keep a trash can or bag in your boat. Make sure to throw all of your food wrappers, bad fishing line, and all cans or bottles in your chosen container. Litter and other debris can be hazards for fish, birds and other animals living in or near the lake. Securing a bag in the boat will give you a place to put all of your trash and will help prevent it from accidentally blowing into the water.
  • Clean up after picnics and beach outings. It’s also important to clean up all wrappers and waste from having picnics or barbeques, especially if you’re near a body of water. Dispose of all litter in provided receptacles or bring it back home with you.
  • Break or cut the loops of plastic six-pack rings before disposing of them. This’ll ensure that, in the case that the rings make their way to a body of water, an animal will not get entangled in it.
  • Avoid driving during peak travel times. This will prevent you from hitting congestion on highways and idling for long periods of time. Plus it will save you gas and your sanity.
  • Pack light. Extra weight in your bag will cause your vehicle of choice, to lose efficiency whether it’s a car, plane, or boat. This means more fuel will have to be used to get to your destination.
  • Use eco-conscious sunscreen. When you swim or sweat, some of the chemicals in mainstream sunscreen can wash off your skin and pollute water bodies. However, there are a number of sunscreens on the market now that avoid using harmful chemicals and are just as effective, if not more so, than regular sunscreen.
  • Leave no trace. This is a general rule of thumb when camping, but the principles can be applied to any boating or recreational outing. Never hurts to leave a place the same or better than how you found it.