Dos and Don’ts For a Green Summer
Now that summer is officially here, you want to stay outside all the time. Or perhaps I’m confusing you with me. I love the summertime; I’d spend all my time in the fresh air if it were possible. Until, of course, the summer heat drove me either into the pool or under the air conditioning. I’ve been thinking hard lately about how to green my summer and I wanted to share these tips with you.
Shop local growers and Farmer’s Markets for fresh fruit and produce. Not only will you enjoy the fresh, home grown food, you’ll save money. You’ll also support the local economy.
Alternatively, start your own garden and grow some food of your own. It doesn’t have to be a big garden; a pot on the patio can hold tomatoes, peppers, or any other kind of vegetable you like to eat.
Ride your bike or walk, since the weather is fine. Your body and your gasoline bill will thank you. Just make sure to wear a hat, sunscreen, and hydrate before and after. Carry a reusable water bottle along with you to ensure you don’t dehydrate.
Watch your water usage. Your lawn only needs about an inch a week to grow green and lush. Has it rained an inch this week? If so, you don’t need to turn your sprinklers on.
Consider carrying an eco-friendly tote. They can hold your summer picnic items, and they can also come in handy to carry sunscreen and towels when you visit the beach.
Don’t turn your air conditioner down low and let it run non stop. Setting it higher will save money and energy. Most air conditioning units can’t get your house that cool anyway, and if it never gets below 72, what’s the point? I set mine for 73 and let it cool the house during the heat of the day. I keep the shades drawn to keep out rays during the hottest part of the day. I’m comfortable, and my electricity usage isn’t sky high.
Don’t use paper plates on picnics. Use your own dishes. Use that tote you have to carry your dishes back home with you. If you feel you must use them, at least recycle them. The Environmental Protection Agency says that if everyone in the United States recycled just 10 percent of the paper they used, 25 million trees would be saved each year.
Don’t use pesticides on your lawn. Your kids and your pets play on that lawn. Is a green lawn worth exposing them to toxic chemicals?