For eco-conscious parents, summer poses its own challenges when it comes to reducing our effect on the Earth. For most, summer consists of staying cool, being outside and traveling. There are certain measures you can take as a family to ensure that your summer fun does not encroach on the environment. Summer is the perfect time of year to travel and there are a few things you can do to make your vacation green. Cut down on waste by using reusable containers for food, toiletries and water. Skip the baggies for sandwiches and use a plastic container instead and buy a reusable, insulated water bottle for each member of the family. Not only will this cut down on the waste caused by bottled water but it will keep your water cold for a longer period of time; something you'll definitely appreciate in the warmer months. Keep in mind that amount of stuff you pack in your vehicle will affect its fuel efficiency. Reduce carbon emissions by traveling light: bring shampoos and toiletries in small, reusable containers and consider that one outfit can be worn at least twice. If you plan on staying closer to home with the kids, make plans to visit local attractions and walk whenever it is possible. Enjoying local shops and attractions not only cuts down on travel but will help boost the local economy as well. And kids can benefit from learning about the area they live in. Summer is all about playing outside and getting dirty, so you may see an increase in laundry this time of year. Take advantage of the warmth and line-dry your clothes. You'll save on the cost of running your dryer AND your clothing will smell amazing!