Summer conjures up visions of vacations and time off, travel, barbecues, and outdoor fun. While you’re enjoying the joys of summer, keep these green tips in mind to benefit you and the planet!
•Air conditioning accounts for 14% of home electricity use. So, when it’s warm outside, be cool and keep it cool inside by using air conditioners wisely.
• Invest in an energy-efficient air conditioner (look for the Energy Efficiency Rating or EER). The higher the EER, the less it will cost you to operate to achieve a better standard of cooling.
• Get your AC serviced by a professional to ensure it is working efficiently and properly.
• Install ventilating fans in the attic. According to Consumer Reports, a large fan working under the right conditions can cool and ventilate an entire house for about the energy cost of running the AC in one room.
• Set your thermostat to 78 degrees F. This temperature is often recommended as a comfortable and energy-efficient indoor temperature.
• During the heat of the day, keep windows and blinds closed.
Think Green when you Travel
• Fresh air and exercise are good for your health! Walk, bike or take public transportation to get to your destination.
• Travel the road during off-peak days and times (weekdays and after early morning and evening rush hour traffic). This saves on fuel and greenhouse gas emissions.
• If you’re flying to your destination, avoid layovers and redeyes. Frequent takeoffs and landings use more fuel, and the pollution emitted on night flights has a more detrimental impact on the climate.
• Pack light. Extra weight in your suitcase can cause airplanes and cars to lose efficiency and use more fuel.
• Purchase and pack locally grown fruits and veggies. Eating fresh and local helps the local economy, saves on greenhouse gas emissions and is better for your health.
• If you don’t already have a picnic basket, think about using your canvas grocery bag as a picnic tote. If you don’t have a basket or tote, visit your local thrift store to pick up a reusable item.
•In your picnic basket, carry washable, reusable cloth napkins, tablecloths, utensils, and pack food in reusable containers that can be also used for leftover storage.
•Keep hydrated and carry your drink in a cooler or in reusable containers like stainless steel, aluminum or glass thermos.
• A good rule of thumb: Take nothing but pictures, leave nothing but footprints.
• When grilling, avoid Petroleum-based lighter fluid. Use a clean burning, natural charcoal.
• Wash yourself, your dishes and your clothes at least 100 feet away from oceans, rivers, streams, lakes or ponds. Use cleansers that will not harm the environment, and use it far away from natural water sources.