Special thanks to guest blogger Marie Ortiz from www.diymother.org.

In a matter of weeks, the kids will be out of school and looking for fun things to do…every day. With the children home for three months, summer is the perfect time to start making more eco-friendly choices as a family. It’s also a great time for your kids to continue learning about healthy, green living.

Family BikingWe only have 18 summers to spend with our little ones. If you practice healthy habits as a family, it will become a part of your children’s lives, and they will pass these traditions on to their own children.

Below are 5 tips on how to have a greener summer. Remember that by starting small, you’ll be able to build your knowledge and grow together. By the end of the summer, you might decide that you’re ready to live a completely eco-conscious lifestyle.

Keep it Low Impact

When you go out as a family, try to participate in activities with low environmental impacts. Places like the zoo, museum, or local farm can offer children interactive, environment-friendly learning activities. You can even come up with your own activities in your backyard. Prepare a scavenger hunt, or have an eco-friendly picnic.

Use Natural Remedies for Burns and Bites

When it comes to sunburn or relief from bug bites, you should stick to the most natural medicine you can get: and it can be grown in your backyard. Lavender or the juice from plantain leaves can treat major stings from bees and wasps.

Aloe plants hold a gel inside its leaves that can be used to soothe sunburns. It’s a hearty succulent, and once it’s planted, it will grow exponentially over the years. You can also combine the aloe gel with powdered milk and 10 drops of lavender essential oil to make a “lotion”.

Use the A/C Sparingly

This might sound like absurd advice for the summertime, but you’d be surprised at how much energy you can save by keeping the thermostat a few degrees higher. Most people can tolerate their homes at 78 degrees, with the help of a ceiling fan or two.

Also, if you close the blinds and curtains in your house, you’ll be saving the cool air for a few extra hours.

Party Greener

If you plan on entertaining, try throwing an “eco-friendly” party. You can encourage your guests to bike to the event, or even carpool together. Use local or organic food, compostable dishware, and brew your own tea with the help of the sun. Set up decorative recycle baskets around the backyard so ensure that your guests recycle.

Once the sun goes down, keep the party going by using solar light bulbs around your outdoor space. Be sure that you have some “green”, fruity drinks for your older guests. Sangria is a great drink that you can make a couple of days before a party.

Go Camping

Instead of going on an expensive vacation and driving hundreds of miles, try going on a camping trip. You won’t have to go too far to find a nice camping ground-sometimes it can even be as close as your backyard.