1000 Hours Update and Planning for Summer

As I’ve mentioned before, and could have likely predicted, we’ve lost count of our 1000 hours over here. However, like many of you, our family has been spending way more time outside now that the weather is nicer. We are gardening, nature walking, playing in the yard and pretty soon swimming at our local pool (!!!), and my guess is that we average about two hours of outside time a day. Together with the previous months, that count totals to around 270 hours for the year. I expect this amount will rise even more once school is out (we have lots of outside plans) and I am resolved to improve counting and record keeping. I would love to get a more accurate picture and back on track!

While we’re talking about summer, have you noticed how hot it’s already been in New England? I live in an old house with a whole house-fan and no central A/C. I remember touring my beloved house and being told that A/Cs aren’t really necessary in New Hampshire because we only experience a few super hot days a year. Well, it’s only the beginning of June and I feel like we’re already breaking our normal record. Here are some water conservation ideas, if we fall into a drought. That said, New Hampshire isn’t the only area that’s feeling the effects. Atlantic hurricane season kicks off on June 1, and it’s supposed to be a slightly above average hurricane season. In the Western U.S., there’s already a serious drought and elevated fire risk.

As we head into the warmer months, I also thought it would be helpful to discuss Earth-friendly supplies. Obviously we want to aim towards using more sustainable packaging – either containers that can be recycled or, even better, refilled. This goal can be tricky, however, because I know skins react differently (for example, my children have allergic responses to certain sunscreens). But if you do have some flexibility, here are some online stores where you can find Earth friendlier options: Bona Fide, Tiny Yellow Bungalow and We Fill Good. More importantly, in my opinion, you also want to use a formula that is reef safe. Not only is that standard good for the ocean, it’s also healthier for your body (titanium and zinc tend to be the safer than formulas filled with hormone-disrupting chemicals). It’s a win-win.

On the trail at Stone Hill Pond. One of my favorites from this list

If you’re looking for natural bug spray, I personally like Hazel Moon Botanicals. Others also like YaYa. Both options are made in New Hampshire, which is a great option for local Granite Staters. Need some snack ideas? Hannah and Barb have you covered. I also often get Keens and other kid outdoor wear via Kidizen.

Lastly, I could use your help – I’m looking for a natural deodorant that works and won’t stain my clothes! I’m tired of white marks all over my darker clothes (TMI? – nah, we all sweat.) Do you have a product that you like to use? Please share!

Happy summer and stay cool! – Rachel

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