Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Eco-Friendly Summer Tips

Summer is here and in full swing and although most of us will be working or will be on our computers most of the time, to follow are a few tips to help make your summer a little more eco-friendly. You won’t relate to every tip but even if you walk away with a few that you can put into action, you will be helping the environment.
  1. Let in some light. Why waste electricity in your house or workplace, when all you need to do is open the blinds and you’ve got light.
  2. Get a few living air purifiers aka indoor plants. They will liven up your home as well as help fight indoor air pollution, which is often worse than most of us realize.
  3. Start your own backyard (or front yard) garden and grow some fresh fruits and vegetables. They’re organic and they taste better.
  4. Find out when your local Farmers’ Market is being held. Go there to get some in-season, local produce.
  5. Eat at home. Get away from processed foods and start making more meals at home. It’s cheaper and better for you too.
  6. If you need to do any driving, slow down a little. Not only will it help with your fuel consumption but it will help you enjoy your drive time.
  7. Quit idling. Just turn off the car. Turn it back on when you are ready to go again. It’s that simple and it saves gas and harmful emissions.
  8. If you can walk or ride your bike instead, then do so. Many people don’t consider this as a viable option, but just think how much you used to walk around when you were younger. After all, your feet were made for walking.
  9. If you need to go somewhere a little further away, check public transportation options. Riding the bus or taking the train are smart ways to get around during the summer.
  10. Make the simple change so you do all your energy-heavy chores off peak hours. Do your laundry, dishes, vacuuming, cooking, etc. at night. Doing so will cut your energy bill and help prevent your home from heating up unnecessarily during the day.
  11. Skip the dryer and hang your clothes out to dry. If you have the space to do so, might as well take advantage of it.
  12. Plan a staycation. Maybe you don’t have time to go on a full-blown vacation. Maybe you’d rather stay closer to home. Either way, many times it’s more relaxing, and cheaper, to explore areas close to home.
  13. The thought of going somewhere to camp during the summer months a little too daunting? Set up camp in the backyard. Especially if you have kids, this is a great idea for a smart, eco-friendly activity the entire family will enjoy.
  14. Have a potluck get-together. Invite family and friends over for a picnic or backyard party. Ask them each to bring a specific food item (in a reusable container) along with their own dinnerware, cups, etc. This way you’ll have a great mix of foods and drinks. Plus, there will be very little clean up or waste afterward.
  15. Remember the sunscreen. But not just any sunscreen, you need to choose a non-toxic sunscreen so you aren’t polluting your skin or the environment.
  16. Drink, but don’t waste water. Your body needs water to stay healthy and hydrated. So you need to drink water. Don’t waste it though. Any “leftover water” can be used to water plants, give to your pets, etc. Just be aware of what you are doing and you will probably save quite a bit.
  17. Unplug. Make this a personal commitment to unplug more and reconnect with family and friends.
  18. Since you are going to unplug, get outside! It’s key not only for your health, but your peace of mind to get outside, breathe in some fresh air and enjoy nature a little bit. Go for a hike, a walk, a bike ride, relax in the pool, sit on the porch…whatever you do, just get outside for a bit every day.
Even if some of these put you outside your “comfort zone”, once you try them you’ll be glad you did. You will be helping to save the environment for many generations to come.

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