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Tips for Summertime Sustainability

Tips for Summertime Sustainability

Most people think of the summer season as the perfect time for a bit of rest and relaxation. And while we might look forward to taking a break from work or school as the weather warms, that doesn’t mean that we should take a break from our efforts to lead eco-conscious lifestyles. So, keep reading to learn how you can live sustainably this summer.

  1. Cut down your cooling. While it might be tempting to keep your house ice cold in the summer heat, constantly having your AC on full blast racks up major carbon emissions from the gas used to power it. So, try to keep your house only as cool as you need to be comfortable while keeping doors and windows closed to avoid cold air leakages. And, if you do want to let some fresh air in, make sure to turn off your AC while your windows and doors are open to minimize any energy waste. Additionally, if you’re heading out for a day trip or long vacation, turn your AC completely off while no one is home to save energy…and money!
  2. Try eco-friendly transportation. With the weather getting nicer, you’re probably feeling the urge to get out of the house and have some fun in the sun. So, take advantage of the warm weather and try walking, biking or riding the bus instead of driving to minimize your carbon emissions. Also, if you're planning a boat day, kayaking, canoeing or paddle boarding are great zero-emission alternatives. 
  3. Get rid of garbage. If you’re planning to spend a day swimming at the beach or hiking on a trail, remember to bring a big and pick up any pieces of trash you find lying around while you’re there. Or, better yet, if you’re going with a group of friends or family, host a trash pick-up competition for a fun, eco-friendly form of entertainment!
  4. Shop your snacks sustainably. Instead of shopping at a supermarket, head to your local farmer’s market for a sustainable way to shop fresh fruits and veggies while they’re in season. And be sure to minimize any plastic waste by bringing reusable bags to carry them in.
  5. Ditch disposables. If you’re planning a picnic or throwing an outdoor party, make sure to swap your disposable materials for reusable ones to minimize your contribution to landfill waste. Try trading your plastic cutlery for reusable utensils, your paper napkins for reusable cloths, and your disposable cups, water bottles and straws for reusable ones.
  6. Watch your water waste. While trying to keep your grass and garden green in the summer heat, schedule your lawn and garden watering times for before or after peak sun hours (which are generally from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.). This allows the water you use to fully soak your plants without being evaporated by the sun, helping you cut down on any water waste. Additionally, if you use a sprinkler, make sure to check your lawn's soil moisture levels and adjust your system's schedule and to ensure that you're not overwatering. Finally, if you have a pool, put on a pool cover whenever you're not swimming to minimize any water evaporation.
  7. Make your garden more green. No one likes pests chomping on the flowers, fruits and vegetables they’ve worked so hard to grow in their garden. But, while it might be tempting to spray pesticides on your plants to keep the bugs at bay, the chemicals used in their formulas pose serious harms to the environment. To cut down your chemical use, try growing naturally pest-repellant plants in your garden. Check out this guide to figure out the best plants you can use to keep your garden green and the environment clean.
  8. Care for coral. Coral reefs around the world (which are vital parts of our marine ecosystem) are in grave danger due to the effects of climate change. So, if you’re planning a beach trip, do your part to protect them by choosing a reef-safe sunscreen. With so many options out there, check out this guide if you need some help choosing the one that’s right for you. Also, make sure not to grab any pieces of coral or shells as souvenirs when you're heading home. Both are crucial to the creation of natural habitats for marine life, so taking them can have seriously negative impacts on coastal ecosystems.
May 24th 2024 Sabrina Castle

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