11 Summer Safety Tips

From spoiled food to buggy backyards, a little planning will keep your holiday weekend problem-free.


4. Toxic Lawn Furniture

The problem: Your patio cushions are emitting a weird smell.

Solve it: Replace those cushioned pieces with sustainably harvested wood or recycled metal patio furniture. Outdoor cushions are often treated with chemicals to make them stain-, water-, and mildew-resistant, and some are made with polyester fibers coated with polyvinyl chloride (PVC), the most toxic, environmentally damaging type of plastic. At the same time, popular teak patio furniture is made from wood unsustainably harvested from old-growth forests. Next time you’re reappointing your patio, look for furniture made from naturally rot-resistant red cedar, which doesn’t need treatments to keep it looking nice. For those times you want something a little softer, consider a hemp hammock or buy hemp canvas that you can use to reupholster the cushions you already have. Hemp naturally resists mildew, making it ideal for use outdoors.