Is living a more sustainable and healthy lifestyle on your list of things to do this sunny season?
Here are six ways to reduce your environmental impact that will help get you started.
Reduce the Use of Your Air Conditioner
It’s no secret that summer days are often sunny, hot and long. During this time it is tempting to batten down the hatches, crank up the AC and stay locked inside until things start to cool off. But there are better ways to beat the heat!
Not only is turning up the AC expensive, it can also cause harm to the environment. Reduce your environmental impact this summer by keeping the AC up or off as much as possible. Open windows and use natural ventilation at night or whenever it is cool out. Keep windows shaded when the hot sun is beating down. You may not be able to stay as cold as if you cranked up the AC, but you’ll sure be a whole lot cooler!
Reduce Your Water Use
Water use typically tends to increase as the season shifts and temperatures rise. Break the trend and help the environment by reducing your water consumption this sunny season.
Decrease the amount of water you use in your house by taking timed showers and turning off the sink when brushing your teeth or cleaning your face. Lessen the amount of water used in your yard by switching out your traditional hose nozzles with water-efficient sprinkler wands and planting only low water torrent plants around your yard.
Plant a Garden
Spend some of your free time this summer to plant a garden that will provide for you and your family for years to come! Having a home garden not only provides you and your family with healthy, delicious, and sustainably sourced food, it also helps the environment.
Home gardens provide sanctuary for local wildlife, such as bees and butterflies, that help the environment by performing key ecosystem services such as pollination. Having a home garden also makes it easy to compost any food waste you may produce.
Become a Locavore
A locavore is someone whose diet consists primarily of locally grown and produced foods. Eating locally is beneficial for the environment because it reduces the amount of plastic packaging, fuel, and other such waste needed for foods to be transported. Being a locavore also ensures that you have access to the freshest foods and allows you to support your local economy.
Throw Green Backyard BBQs
Backyard BBQs make up the backbone of many fun summer activities spent with family and friends. But these BBQs can also wreak havoc on the environment.
Reduce the impact of your next backyard event by using biodegradable or reusable plates, utensils, and napkins and BBQing with a propane grill which is much more efficient than a coal or wood one. You can also help out your local environment (and economy) by getting the food for your BBQ from local and sustainable sources.
Make your get together extra eco-friendly by giving it a green theme. Have your guests participate in trash pickups, tree planting, or other such eco-friendly activities.
Use Environmentally Friendly Sun Protection
Summer is arguably the most important time of the year to practice sun safety. However, it is also important to stay covered in a way that doesn’t harm the environment. Since many chemical sunscreens harm the environment, it is best to seek other forms of protection as much as possible. For those situations when sunscreen is a must, make sure you use reef-friendly, organic, and mineral-based sunscreens that have less of an impact on the environment.
While we all start to get ready to enjoy some summer fun, let’s not forget about our local environments. If we each do our parts, these environments will stay pristine and provide refuge for both us and local wildlife for years to come.