16 Steps to a Non-Toxic Summer

How is it that summer is already half over? If you haven’t had a moment to catch fireflies yet, chances are you soon will. To wish you the happiest of summers, we’ve compiled our favorite Healthy Child non-toxic warm weather fun tips to help you plan your family activities!

1. Repel bugs without DEET. The pesticides used in insect repellant can be harmful for both adults and children! Another option is picaridin, a chemical based on pepper.

2. Grow a pesticide-free lawn. Extensive use of pesticides has led to resistance in many insects and weed species. As a result, many resort to even stronger chemical pesticides, which may have greater consequences for human and environmental health. Opting for a pesticide-free lawn will have your children and pets playing happily (and safely!) in the grass all summer.

3. Avoid GMOs when out celebrating with friends and family! Going out for a nice summer meal at your favorite restaurant? Consider making your restaurant food choices with GMOs in mind by avoiding high-risk ingredients like corn and soy.

4. Be careful about chlorine in pools. High levels of chlorine in pools has been linked to asthma in small children. Children under the age of 7 who swam frequently in indoor chlorine pools may be at an increased risk for developing asthma, according to a 2006 study.

5. Wade in a safe kiddie pool. Many kiddie pools are made out of PVC – the plastic known as the “poison plastic” thanks to its remarkably toxic production and disposal processes. PVC also contaminates both children and the environment with the endocrine-disrupting phthalates.

6. Learn your Sunscreening Safety facts! Need a new tube of sunscreen? When shopping for sunscreen for you and your children, choose those formulated with zinc and titanium. These two non-toxic minerals provide even safer and more effective sunscreening.

7. Bare feet = pedicures. Is your nail polish toxic? Many nail polishes contain chemicals known as the toxic trio: dibutyl phthalate, toluene, and formaldehyde. Choose safer nail polish – or dare to go bare!

8. Grow veggies (safely). When you’re planing your summer garden, be cautious about fertilizers. Some sold as “natural” or “organic” are made from so-called biosolids, otherwise known as sewage sludge. Yuck!

Bonus! These last 8 trusted and tried Non-toxic Summer Fun Tips from real moms on Healthy Childs Blogger Network:

9. Trina of OBoy Organic recommends making summer jams with fresh, home-grown herbs. She added lemon verbena to strawberry-rhubarb jam to make a healthy and delicious treat!

10. Rachel of ClubMomMe.com says to pick up some non-toxic beach toys. ”Plastic can leach chemicals when it gets hot in the sun, and this will ensure your child is not exposed to any chemicals.”

11. Susan of LilBitOfMamaTime.com offers the following bug bite and bee sting remedy: “Mix a tbsp. of baking soda with a tbsp. of white vinegar till it forms a paste and put on bug bites and bee stings to help remove the itch. My three-year-old daughter has fun ‘painting’ her boo boo with the white paste.”

12. Happy Tot Mom says, “Make wearing a hat a standard part of outside play!” She used a  large brimmed sun hat when her son was a baby and transitioned to another when he outgrew his infant hat; both hats were UPF 50+. “Hats go on before we head outside every day!”

13. Hillary of Accidentally Green has a post up about her top 3 non-toxic tips for summer fun. Tip #1? Remember to slather on the non-toxic sunscreen before taking the kids outside!

14. Amber of Easy Green Mama suggests having fun with non-toxic homemade bubbles. “My boys are entertained for hours when playing outside with bubbles. It’s a super simple recipe to mix and in no time you are having bubble fun in the summer sun!”


  • 1/4 cup any natural dish wash soap
  • 3/4 cup warm water
  • 5 drops of glycerin

15. Lori of Groovy Green Livin‘ has five tips for greening a BBQ on her site, including some tips on finding eco-friendly and reusable tableware for large family gatherings!

16. Suzan of Happy Mom Blogger suggests making your own healthy popsicles. “Use BPA-free popsicle molds or make your own mold. Just use small drinking glasses. Fill it with your kid’s favorite juice or make your own. When half frozen, stick in a wooden popsicle stick or use a spoon.”

Veggie Popsicles Kids Will Love



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Christie C.
Christie C.2 years ago

Great article, I hope people heed this advice.

I'd like to add that many BPA- free plastics are still plastic and can be leaching yet-to-be-publicized chemicals.

Also, most "natural" sunscreens have a lot of synthetic and petroleum derived ingredients. You can avoid these by making your own sunscreen- it's easy.
Start with your favorite lotion. To each tablespoon of lotion, add 1/2 tsp of zinc oxide. Press the zinc through a mesh screen or in a bowl with the back side of a spoon, to get the chunks out before adding it. Mix really well with a fork. Adjust the ratio as needed. Zinc oxide powder is available online and sometimes at health food stores; make sure it's cosmetic grade.

Winn Adams
Winn Adams2 years ago


Sonali G.
Sonali G.2 years ago

interesting advise and also there should be a bit about sun block and not swimming around coral reefs as it is harmful to them

Peggy A.
Peggy A.2 years ago


Sue Matheson
Sue Matheson2 years ago


Danuta Watola
Danuta Watola2 years ago

Thanks for sharing.

Barb Hansen
Barb Hansen2 years ago


Bob P.
Bob P.2 years ago

thanks for sharing

wael a.
wael a.2 years ago

Thank you

Brian M.
Past Member 2 years ago

The best thing you can do during the summer is support your local organic farmers. Shop at your farmers markets and stock up on fresh, local organic produce. Enjoy what you can. Freeze what you can for later use.