Reducing Your Carbon Footprint this Summer
The long days and warm nights of summer make it a big favorite among seasons for many people, young and old. Camping, swimming and other water sports make it seem like the fun never ends over the summer. However, while the days are full of fun in the sun, there are also a lot of ways to be environmentally conscious throughout the warm summer months by reducing energy and water use, as well as one-use plastics during your time outdoors.
Summer is the perfect time to bust out your old bike, scooter or skateboard and use some physical energy to get from A to B, especially for shorter distances. It can be difficult to ride a bike during rainy or chilly weather but in the warm summer months, it can be faster to ride a bike to the grocery store than to back your car out of the driveway and find a spot in the parking lot.
Use Less Hot Water
Hot weather makes us want to stay cool, and what better way to do that than by taking a cold, refreshing shower? Even taking a lukewarm shower can help conserve some energy, especially when you’re already hot from being outside. When washing clothes, you can choose to wash in cold water, rather than hot, as heating water accounts for 90 percent of the energy needed to run a washer.
Dry Your Clothes Outside
Speaking of laundry, summer is a great time to dry your clothes the old-fashioned way. Get some clothespins and spend some time outside hanging your clothes on some sturdy twine. This can help conserve all the energy that your dryer would have otherwise exerted and can help reduce your energy bill drastically.
Keep Your Thermostat Up
If you spend a lot of time outdoors, make sure to turn your thermostat up to a warmer level while you’re out of the house. It’s nice to come home to a cool home but if you leave for more than a few hours, you’re wasting a lot of energy to keep a house cooler than necessary while it’s empty. Remember to adjust it as you leave for an overnight camping trip or day trip to the lake.
If you’ve been wanting to redecorate, consider some eco-friendly home fixtures. It gets very hot during the summer so it’s important to have some way to cool down a room. Fans use up a lot less energy than air conditioning and help move the air around in a room enough to cool them, so you could consider purchasing a nice ceiling fan to reduce your energy use.
Keep Your Lights Off
Long summer days are the perfect time to take advantage of natural lighting in your home. In some areas of the world, the sun rises at 5am and is out until after 10pm for weeks in the summer. This makes it easy to avoid using light bulbs in your house for a majority of weeks during the warmest months if you open up your windows.
Reduce Use of One-Use Plastics
There are a lot of summer activities that require packing food, like camping and picnics. While it can be convenient to simply buy bottled water and plastic sandwich bags, a little extra effort can help reduce your carbon footprint; even by simply opting to pack your picnics with eco-friendly recyclable sandwich bags. Buying a nice reusable water bottle can eliminate your use of plastic bottles and can become an environmentally conscious summer accessory as well.
Summer is not only a great time for adventures, it’s also an awesome time to be more environmentally conscious and do what you can to reduce your carbon footprint. Simple steps like riding your bike, washing your clothes a little differently and letting natural light into your home is not only helpful to the environment, it’s also beneficial for your wallet. Take some of these extra environmentally friendly steps and see the changes they make in your life.