Image by Per Ola Wiberg / Creative Commons
I don’t know about where you live, but it has been getting pretty hot around here. Temperatures have been closing in on 100°F and I’d say it is about time for some eco-friendly summer tips. Last year I covered this topic as well, and I figured it would be worth repeating, especially for those of you who missed out. So in honor of the “greenie” in all of us, here are my eco-friendly summer tips that are worth repeating:
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. Plant some native plants. There are many reasons why you should do this, but here are a few good reasons to plant native species in your garden. Of course, one of the best reasons is that you won’t waste so much water.
4. Start your own backyard (or front yard) garden and grow some fresh fruits and vegetables. They’re organic and they taste better. Here are a few ideas for vegetables to plant in July.
5. Find out when your local Farmers’ Market is being held and go there to get some in-season, local produce.
Image by Andy Fell
6. Eat at home. Get away from processed foods and start making more meals at home. It’s cheaper and better for you too.
7. Remember to practice healthy summer grilling tips. And even though it isn’t grilled, I wanted to share my new favorite recipe, Anita’s Lime Avocado Quinoa Salad, and yes, this tasty recipe is perfect for summer picnics and parties.
8. 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. A proven fuel additive wouldn’t hurt either…hint, hint.
9. 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.
10. 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. Those feet were made for walking.
Image by one2c900d
11. 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.
12. 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.
13. 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.
14. 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, here are 25 great ideas you can incorporate into your staycation plans.
15. If you are planning on going camping this summer, be sure you learn how to have a “leave no trace” camping trip. Some simple basics can help ensure others will be able to experience the beauty of your camping spot just as you did.
16. Is 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.
Image by zet
17. 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.
18. 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.
19. 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.
20. Unplug. Make a personal commitment to unplug more and reconnect with family and friends. Declare your independence from technology.
Image by Ben
21. Since you are going to unplug, get outside! That’s right, I saved this one for last, but it doesn’t mean it isn’t important. 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.
There you have it. 21 simple eco-friendly tips to help you get through the summer. If you have any personal favorites, let me know. I’d be happy to hear what eco-friendly things you’ve got planned for the summer. Have a great one and as I always say, have a biofriendly day!