1000 Hours and Other Updates

Now that summer is in full-swing, it’s obviously super easy to get outside. Not all days are perfect – it’s raining cats and dogs here today and I assured my children that I wouldn’t force them outdoors in this weather (though there is an argument for that type of thinking). If you consider days like today, where it’ll be spent indoors, I’d say my family is averaging that sweet spot of three hours a day (3 x 365 = 1000+ hours). Some days, when we’re hiking, swimming, playing outside, we obviously tally more. (As an aside, I wonder if you count activities that are “in between”? Do you include shopping at the Farmers’ Market, or reading on the grass, towards your total? I’m going with a yes.) Even if we don’t reach 1000 by December 31st, we’re getting outside a bunch and I’m happy with that result.

Last year, I shared a list of kid-friendly hikes. Here are a few kid-friendly beaches that we’ve enjoyed and are a day trip from the Concord, NH area. For us, a perfect beach day includes some sand, calm and shallow water, a picnic lunch and finishing it off with some playground fun. Most of these options fit that bill. Feel free to share yours as well!

Clough State Park

Elm Brook

Sunapee State Park

Great Island Common

Short Sands Beach (Wells, ME)

Mother’s Beach (Kennebunk, ME)

Besides rain, this extreme heat has also been forcing us indoors. Obviously we will swim on super hot days but I’m not going to force my kids to run around in 95 degree weather. So we spend some of those days inside, using Hannah’s tips about avoiding AC.

I remember when we moved to NH and bought our house. We were told AC isn’t needed because it only hits 90 degrees a few times a summer. We’ve been experiencing a change in that pattern. Not only are we more uncomfortable, global warming is affecting our agriculture and infrastructure systems. Just look at the Pacific Northwest. It hit 115 degrees in Portland, Oregon last week! The heat caused roads to buckle and water reserves to dry. Miami’s building collapse, while it could’ve been avoided by proper due diligence, was also a result of rising sea levels and their effect on concrete foundations. The future is here and it’s scary.

So what do we do? We vote and work to elect people who agree there’s a problem that must be solved. But we can also make changes at home. Buy locally, consume less, turn off the lights, carpool with a friend etc etc. Don’t know where to start? It’s Plastic Free July. I’m not one for inspirational quotes, but this one has helped me: you don’t need to see the entire staircase, just take the first step (MLK). Plastic Free July can be that place for you. – Rachel

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