Finally, Labor Day is upon us! While we’re sad that summer’s unofficially come to a close, we always look forward to spending the three-day weekend with friends and family. 

Unfortunately, because of the pandemic, we can’t celebrate with lively afternoon cookouts and end-of-summer pool bashes as we did in previous years. Thankfully,  there are still ways you can bask in the end-of-summer sun with your family and friends while keeping it eco-friendly at the same time. Here are five things our team at Chariot will do to create a sustainable Labor Day weekend. 

1. Visit a Drive-in Movie Theater

This summer, drive-in movie theaters have had a major resurgence — most likely due to COVID-19 restrictions and concern over social distancing in traditional movie theaters. The drive-in offers the best of both worlds: safe distances from your fellow moviegoers but with the collective experience we love about the movies. Plus, no air conditioning required, so you’re saving money on cooling your home.

Hop on over to your local drive-in, or even your city’s Walmart. Yes, even Walmart has joined in on the drive-in movie craze by offering free movie screenings at select store locations across the country. 

Set up some chairs, bring some reusable containers with snacks, and fill up your BPA-free water bottles for a safe, fun and eco-friendly cinema experience. 

2. Hit Up the Beach or Your Nearest Swimming Hole

Taking a trip to the beach, river or lake is yet another way you and your family can break that cabin fever. To enjoy the outdoors safely, avoid areas that will be crowded and find a secluded spot where you can safely social distance.

For grub, things like chips, sandwiches, fruit and similar snacks will travel easily. Make sure to bring metal silverware and reusable plates with you. It’s super easy to avoid unnecessary waste and packaging if you just plan a little ahead. 

Don’t forget your sunscreen. Yes, as a solar company, we love having fun in the sun as much as anyone, but the sun emits UV radiation, which can damage our bodies and cause skin cancer. So, while you can still get that nice sun-kissed glow even with that SPF 50 on, remember to reapply sunscreen every two hours.

3. Consider Quenching Your Thirst at an Outside Brewery

This one may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but these locales are growing in popularity and number. But since the coronavirus has not yet been contained, you can’t visit your favorite indoor watering hole. Thus, if you’re itching to go somewhere and enjoy a drink, consider an outdoor brewery as part of your Labor Day weekend agenda. 

Many, if not all, restaurants with outdoor seating have some sort of social distancing and safety measures in place where you enjoy the afternoon hanging out with your family and friends. You can even look for places with pet-friendly patios! 

When it comes to having a green Labor Day, some restaurants will opt for reusable glass cups, while others will stick to strictly plastic. If the place you visit only uses plastic, ask if they have a recycling bin, and if they don’t, see if you can save your cups until you get home where you can properly dispose of them.

If you’re unsure whether an item can be recycled or not, check out our blog on things you may be recycling wrong

4. Go Camping (or Glamping)

Labor Day might be the unofficial end of summer, but in Texas, it’s still pretty hot outside. That means camping in a tent at a state park might not be the best idea if you aren’t used to it. However, it is the most eco-friendly way to enjoy the outdoors for a weekend, since you’re aren’t using electricity and AC to keep the tent cool. 

But we realize it’s not everyone’s ideal scenario. So, until it becomes cool enough to sleep comfortably outside, you might consider glamping — camping but higher-end amenities (including a generator to power a box unit air conditioner). It’s a bit more expensive and — yes — less sustainable in some cases, but it offers you a chance to experience the beauty of nature and some socially distanced outdoor fun. 

There’s so much more you can do this Labor Day that we didn’t include on our list! You could go to the farmer’s market, relax by the pool, go for a hike, or even take a weekend trip to the Texas wine country, Just remember to take it easy and mask up! 

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