Warmer days are barely here and my daughter has already started begging me to let her set up a lemonade stand in the front yard. She and her friends ran a stand last year and they still talk about every doting customer, every hard-earned sale, and every drop of fun they squeezed out of that day. So I'm sure there will be another sale for us just around the corner.  

If you're not careful, lemonade stands can be a bit of an eco-nightmare. Between the mounds of disposable cups and the pre-packaged lemonade mix with high-fructose corn syrup, there's not much redeeming about your average stand. Here are a few tricks we use to make our lemonade stands and little greener, cleaner and sweeter.

Real lemonade. Skip the packaging, dyes, and processing that comes with lemonade powders and opt for the real thing. All you need is lemons, water, and a little organic sugar or honey to make lemonade that is easy on the planet and delicious for the taste buds.  

Recycled cups. Scour your local thrift store for inexpensive plastic cups that customers can reuse when they get home. Or purchase cups made from recycled paper or compostable materials and be sure to have recycling and/or composting bins on site for disposal.

Repurposed signs. Dig out the recycled cardboard or reuse the back of last year's science fair poster to make a beautiful lemonade stand sign that won't add extra garbage to the planet.

Eco snacks. Lemonade tastes even better when it's paired with a few eco treats like apples, bananas, oranges, or better yet, organic brownies or chocolate chip cookies!