With warmer days and more sunshine, summer is the perfect time to try new ways to live green. Whether you’re a green living novice or a seasoned pro, consider implementing these green tips to save money and help the planet throughout the summer.
1. Shop local
The summer months are typically full of fresh produce, and buying local produce at your farmer’s market helps to reduce the amount of energy that’s spent when importing food from far-flung corners of the world.
If you can’t make it to the farmer’s market, many grocery stores now have special sections dedicated to local produce and other goods.
2. Grow a garden
The summer months often provide ideal growing conditions for many herbs and vegetables. By growing these yourself, you’ll have a virtually unlimited supply of your favorites to use in cooking all summer long. Since you won’t have to buy these from the store, you’ll decrease your use of imported items and reduce your carbon footprint all at the same time.
3. Keep Your HVAC in Good Repair
HVAC systems help keep you cool in the summer, and they also improve your home’s air quality by reducing pollen and other allergens in your house. To keep your HVAC in good repair, have it serviced by a licensed and reliable professional company at least once a year — especially if you notice any issues. If you see a sudden spike in your energy bill, for example, you’ll know when to call an expert HVAC company to come take a look.
If possible, try to use an energy efficient or “green” HVAC unit, and consider upgrading, as the long-term costs outweigh the initial investment.
4. Open the windows
While some days are just too hot without air conditioning, many summer mornings and evenings are cool enough that you may be able to avoid turning on the air conditioning at all.
Instead, open the windows to take advantage of the breeze and natural air flow. This will reduce your energy use and your impact on the planet.
5. Switch to glass bottles
Plastic cups and storage containers are prized for convenience. Although glass bottles have to be washed and take up a few extra minutes of your day, switching to glass for food storage and drinks is one of the most reliable ways to go green this summer. Try storing your leftovers in glass jars, and drink your morning smoothie from a nice glass mug.
6. Recycle as much as possible
Recycling can be confusing (especially remembering what you can and can’t recycle in your city), and most people don’t recycle as much as they could. If your schedule is more relaxed during the summer, stop and take a moment to consider if you could recycle your morning newspaper or that old stack of magazines you haven’t read. You’ll clear out clutter and reduce the amount of paper in the landfill.
7. Dry your laundry naturally
The warmer summer days will allow clothes to air dry more quickly. By choosing to dry some of your clothes outside or indoors with a drying rack, you’ll save energy and money. Consider using a clothes line or special indoor air-drying unit to make this quick and stress-free.
If you’re looking to make an impact on carbon footprint reduction, or you simply want to reduce your energy bills this summer, consider the above tips and you’ll be well on your way to a greener you.