Happy Solstice: The sunrise at Stonehenge this morning was welcomed by 24,000 revelers. Summer officially begins on June 21st, the longest day of the year, which also happens to be International Surfing Day. Double stoke!
Here are some tips for a greener summer out of doors.
Treat yourself to a little something in Forest Stewardship Council (FSC)-certified or reclaimed wood.
In addition to the sun, Druids worshipped the mighty forest, which provided them with wood for shelter, fuel and food. Trees also counteract global warming by storing carbon. The Amazon rainforest alone sequesters 70 billion tons of CO2, or 10% of the world’s carbon, an amount equivalent to total emissions of this greenhouse gas over the past 11 years, according to the Woods Hole Research Center in Massachusetts. When trees are cut and burned, their stored CO2 is released.
FSC’s chain-of-custody verification process allows every piece of lumber or furniture to be traced back to its source in well-managed forests, which are selectively harvested with the goal of forest preservation. Given recent reports of how illegally logged Indonesian and Burmese wood gets filtered through China and sold in the U.S. and Europe, supporting work like FSC’s is crucial.
Greenerpenny’s Sustainable Wood Choices:
New River’s square outdoor table, pleasing in its simplicity, made from FSC-certified jatoba hardwood (Brazilian cherry),with a linseed oil waterproof finish, $89 from www.125west.com/new_river_outdoor_tables.html. Check out their FSC-certified Adirondack chairs, dining tables and benches, too.
Support your back—and standing forests—on a sweetly angled chair made from recycled oak wine barrel staves. It folds flat, too. $149 from www.vivaterra.com.
Save Your Skin
As longer days can mean more exposure to UV rays, beachgoers should wear sunblock and cover up as much as possible.
In the water and out, Xcel’s UV 50+ poly/spandex surf shirts provide protection with long or short sleeves, in solids or tropical prints, for Men, Women, Kids and Toddlers (find dealers in your zip code at www.xcelwetsuits.com). In tropic conditions, you’ll stay cooler in this Hawaiian company’s sleeveless mesh with a UV 25+ rating, but note, you’ll only be protected half as long. For more cover-ups, see http://greenerpenny.blogspot.com/2007/05/chemical-free-sun-coverups.html.
For Greenerpenny’s Top Ten Least-Toxic Sunscreens, go to http://greenerpenny.blogspot.com/2007/06/top-ten-green-sunscreens.html).
Clean a Beach
To celebrate International Surfing Day, help clean a beach. Go to www.intlsurfingday.com for events and ideas. Safety tip: Do keep your toddler from eating sand; researchers at the University of Minnesota have found that E.coli bacteria in beach sand can contribute to gastrointestinal illness.
Please send your friends to www.greenerpenny.com