Summer officially begins on June 21st. Are you ready to beat the heat while living green? Here are 13 tips to promote sustainability during the summer months:
1. Consider club memberships or charitable donations in lieu of standard birthday gifts. The first rule of sustainable living is to reduce consumption!
2. If you’re not already a vegetarian, try it part-time. Try eliminating or reducing your meat consumption before 6pm on weekdays. Producing meat is energy intensive and has harmful environmental effects.
3. Bike or vanpool to work. Check out this vanpool platform sponsored by Tampa Bay Area Regional Transportation Authority (TBARTA) http://www.tampabayrideshare.org/carpool. html
4. Grill local veggies at your next barbecue. Not only are you supporting the local economy, but the carbon footprint of the food is bound to be smaller than buying something from 100 miles away.
5. Invest in items that are produced in equitable, fair-trade environments. See if your product qualifies at http://fairtradeusa.org/.
6. Recycle your yoga mat at the nearest Lululemon.
7. Take advantage of cool summer nights. Open your windows in the evening to avoid using the air conditioning too much.
8. Recycle old t-shirts into rags instead of using multiple paper towels for clean-up.
9. Keep reusable bags stashed in your car. Make it a point to return them to your car after unloading groceries so you’re never stuck using plastic.
10. Mind your leaks! Be sure to fix water leaks immediately. Leaky faucets can waste up to thousands of gallons a year.
11. Upcycle! Have old luggage you’re going to throw away? Stack hard suitcases for a funky bedside table. Clean wax remains from out of old candles and repurpose the jars for storage containers. The possibilities are endless. Be creative!
12. Make your own green cleaning supplies. Don’t turn to toxic chemicals to clean your home. Most messes can be cleaned up with baking soda, vinegar, and lemon juice.
13. Bring your reusable water bottle to community picnics and other outings.