- Planet Possible
5 ways you can keep the planet clean this summer
Suppose we clean up our messes and recycle what can be salvaged. Isn’t that how Mother Nature would want us to behave?
Pick up some good, clean beach vibes. Coastlines catch all kinds of trash: food wrappers, bottles—and lately, face masks. For International Coastal Cleanup Month, in September, environmental groups and local authorities are organizing virtual and in-person activities. In 2019 Ocean Conservancy volunteers worldwide collected more than 20 million pounds of beach trash. Search online for a beach plus “cleanup” to find events—or start your own pick-up posse.
To grill without singeing the planet, avoid lighter fluid and easy-light charcoal, which emit chemicals. Or try a grill run on pellets of compressed wood scraps, waste that burns with little pollution.
Patio decor from plastic. Sprucing up the backyard? You’ll find many eco-friendly options for outdoor accessories, from hardy, brightly patterned mats that once were soda bottles to biodegradable doormats made from coconut husks.
Sunblocks that stay on. One way to ensure your sun protection is effective and reef safe is to wear UV-blocking clothes, which reduce the need for lotions or sprays. Look for a UPF, or ultraviolet protection factor, rating.
We have Sweden to thank for the green sport called plogging. From the Swedish term plocka upp (pick up), it combines jogging and picking up trash. The activity has been adopted around the world—and adapted: Consider going pliking or plalking where you live, to get fit as you pick up litter.
For more stories about how to help the planet, go to natgeo.com/planet
This story appears in the August 2021 issue of National Geographic magazine.