Thereís no better time for you and your family to become a little greener. Itís not as daunting as you think; all you have to do is take little steps to make a difference. If youíre already taking steps, here are a few to consider! These tips can help you conserve energy, take a more environmentally conscious approach and reduce your environmental impact.
Keep it local. You donít need to travel far to have a good time. Head to nearby areas such as a park, woods, zoo or ballgames, or simply sit back and relax, kick your feet up and leave a smaller footprint behind. When you do have to travel, increase your fuel efficiency as much as 25 percent by slowing down (try going 55 mph rather than 70 mph): youíll save at the pump while helping Mother Nature.
Turn that AC up. We understand that itís difficult to give up air conditioning when the temperatures are soaring. Just be sure to not overuse the air conditioner, and you can save money Ė and keep the planet cooler Ė by turning up the thermostat a few degrees. You can even save before you turn on the AC: Try closing the windows first and turning on a ceiling or portable fan.
Grill it up cleaner. Whatís a summer cookout without a few charcoal briquettes? Opt for propane since it burns cleaner than wood or charcoal. Canít go without the charcoal? Try a natural product thatís cleaner than traditional briquettes. When it comes time for cleaning, go for a natural cleaning product or soy organic grill cleaner to keep it chemical-free.
Buy it local. Donít just drive by those farm stands Ė stop and do some shopping! Not only are you getting fresher vegetables and fruits, but youíre also ensuring that your food hasnít traveled thousands of miles to be on your dinner plate. This cuts down the use of fossil fuels thus reducing pollution and conserving resources.
Go green plates. Opt for reusable plates and dinnerware rather than plastic or Styrofoam products.
Hang it out. Thereís no reason for using the dryer unless itís raining, of course! The warm temperatures this summer will help your clothes dry faster, so hang your laundry out to dry.
Turn the lights off! Take advantage of bright sunny days by keeping your window shades up and allowing natural light to enter. Itís staying light later, so flick off those lights for a few extra hours. Consider investing in energy-saving light bulbs to help lower your energy use, as well as to keep your house cool (these new bulbs emit little or no heat).
Go solar. There are going to be nights when you want to just relax outdoors. Why spend money installing outdoor lighting when you can buy solar? Just stick some solar garden lights around your yard and youíll be thanking the sun long after it sets.
Watch what you grow. Try getting plants and flowers that will lower your watering bill. If you do need to give them some water, do it in the early morning and donít keep sprinklers running longer than needed.
Going green, summer-style: it canít get any easier!