It’s summertime, which means it’s time for fun, travel, and a LOT of hot weather. Whether you are on vacation or spending time at home with friends and family, you can still make this summer a sustainable one! Here are 10 tips to help you be sustainable while staying cool and having fun this summer!
- Save energy by utilizing passive cooling and fans
Instead of using the AC, try passive cooling. Passive cooling is a type of building design that focuses on keeping the temperature in your home cool without using electricity. One easy way to passively cool your home is to keep your curtains and blinds closed. By allowing that sunlight into your home, it’s heating up! Cover your windows with curtains or blinds. Consider using fans rather than AC to reduce the amount of energy you’re using.
- Maximize the use of natural sunlight
Instead of turning on the light, take advantage of the extra daylight! Opt for natural lighting in rooms such as kitchens, bathrooms, living rooms, and bedrooms for as long as possible instead of using electricity.
- Switch to LED lights
Did you know that the type of lights you use could be contributing to heating up your home? Switch out your incandescent and CFL light bulbs to LEDs! They emit no heat, produce the same amount of light, and saves money on your energy bill.
- Set the AC to 78 degrees for maximum energy saving and comfort
According to the US Department of Energy and Energy Star, setting your thermostat to 78°F is the standard temperature to stay comfortably cool and save money!
- Avoid single-use plastic utensils, plates, and cups when traveling
Whether visiting a new place or going to a restaurant, avoid takeout containers and cutlery and bring your own reusables or dine-in.
- Need a cool place to hang out or rest? Take advantage of your local library’s AC
The library is not just a place to get a book. You can find really cool events to attend, play games, do some art, utilize their computers, all while cooling off with their AC!
- Water your garden in the morning or evenings
It may seem obvious, but watering your plants in the mornings or evenings is a great way to save water by preventing it from evaporating during the hot daytime. And it’s better for your plants too!
- Hang dry your clothes
Instead of using the dryer, take advantage of the sun! Did you know the first patented dryer was granted in 1892? However, it wasn’t until the 1960s that they became popular. Up until then, the traditional way to dry clothes were on clotheslines. This summer, try to save energy by hang-drying your clothes.
- Buy seasonal produce at your local farmer’s market
Buying produce in season and locally allows for your produce to be fresher, taste better, and less energy intensive since it does not need to travel far.
- Avoid driving when you can
Get some fresh air and exercise or hitch a ride by walking, biking, or using public transportation this summer. Turn a five-minute drive into a 20-minute walk, six-minute bike ride, or a walk and ride with the bus!
Who knew that there were so many ways to help the planet in the summer?! Summer is the best time to incorporate these sustainable practices. Just a few changes can make a huge impact!