Green and DIY Summer Essentials

After a long winter, it is nice to see leaves on the trees, flowers blooming and kids running through sprinklers.  Not so nice is the heat, sunburn, bug bites and green hair.  When I was growing up, we rarely used sunscreen or bug spray and, when we did, it was far from natural.  My son is lucky because we have access to safer and healthier options for protecting him from the not-so-great parts of summer.  Here are some of my favorite green store-bought and homemade summer remedies.


I suppose that you probably could make your own sunscreen.  But I personally would rather leave that one to the experts.  Whether we are at the beach or playing in our backyard, my favorite sunscreens for me and my son are Badger or California Baby.  Both received a “1” on EWG’s Skin Deep Sunscreen Guide.

Green and DIY Summer Essentials Outdoor Sunscreen Bug Spray

Bug Spray

Conventional bug spray is full of artificial ingredients, phthalates, toxic pesticides, and DEET.  Fortunately, homemade bug spray is pretty easy to make.  I found this very effective recipe on Crunchy Betty.  The ingredients are simple and safe – apple cider vinegar, vodka (or rubbing alcohol), water, eucalyptus oil, citronella oil and peppermint oil.  I like to leave out the citronella and double the amount of eucalytpus because I don’t care for the smell of citronella.  Other scents that have been reported as effective as keeping bugs away include cinnamon, rosemary, thyme, basil, cedar and lavender.  Talk to a physician before using essential oils on pregnant women or kids under 3.

If you aren’t the DIY type, try California Baby’s Natural Bug Blend.

Green Homemade Summer Bug Insect Spray Repellent

Insect Bite Relief

To ease the itch of yet another mosquito bite, try rubbing a bar of soap on it.  That’s it!

If you feel better having something in your medicine cabinet, I really like Motherlove’s Green Salve.


During the winter, I rarely need deodorant.  But once the hot and humid weather hits, I don’t dare walk out of the house without it.  I haven’t had much luck with most store-bought natural deodorants. But I absolutely love the homemade deodorant I wrote about in a previous post.  It only contains 3 ingredients that you simply stir together.

Hair Rinse

Your hair tends to work overtime during the summer, especially if you like to spend a lot of time in the pool.  When I was a kid, my hair was permanently green.  Now, I give my hair a quick rinse with some apple cider vinegar or this hair rinse from Crunchy Betty.

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