Courtesy of www.Swapdom.com
Once summer kicks in, it becomes everyone’s M.O. to cave to the siren call of endless weekend barbecues and blast the A/C like a stereo at the fingertips of a metalhead. And does anyone ever think twice about these things? Psshhh… no. So it may surprise you to learn that your summertime lifestyle is, more than likely, harming the Earth. Happily, there are a lot of simple habit tweaks to help you go green during the summertime, and you’ll be shocked at just how easy a lot of them are to incorporate into your everyday!
Up the Efficiency of Cooling Down
Did you know air conditioning use in the US alone costs Americans $11 billion and releases 100 million tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere each year? Those numbers are so big, they’re hard to wrap your head around. Happily, the things you can do to help are much more manageable.
•Adapt your appliance use. If it’s a real scorcher out there, you can reduce your need to amp up the A/C by avoiding the use of heat-heavy appliances like ovens, hotplates, and irons.
•Opt for energy efficient light bulbs. CFLs, those newfangled squiggly bulbs, are not only energy efficient and wallet-friendly, they put off less heat and will play a part in keeping your home inherently cooler.
•Invest in a smart thermostat. To max your A/C efficiency, get a programmable thermostat stat! Synced with your daily schedule, this gadget will help you avoid leaving the A/C on all the time, which is a huge waste. Bonus? You’ll save around $180 a year and keep cool.
•Set up for shade. Pro tip: install your A/C unit somewhere shady, and it will use 10% less energy! To go the extra mile, add awnings or solar screens to your windows. According to WebMD, “The Department of Energy estimates that awnings can reduce solar heat gain – the amount the temperature rises – in your house by as much as 77%.
•Become a fan on fans. When night lumbers down and it cools off a bit, use fans to blow cold air into your home. Consider using ceiling fans during the day too; they’re 90% more efficient than central air.
BBQ Best Practices
On the 4th of July alone, BBQs result in the release of 225,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere and the equivalent destruction of 2,300 acres of forest. What can you do to help? So glad you asked!
•Be Pro Propane. Charcoal briquettes may sound sexy, but they’re pretty darn polluting. Propane burns cleaner, and keeps you from killing trees when firing up your noms.
•Choose Reusable. We’re sure you’ve an inkling as to just how wasteful it is to use disposable dishes and napkins. Though toting around reusable picnic settings might be marginally less convenient, true, it makes a big difference (and looks a heck of a lot prettier!). Don’t have something appropriate? You can find something fitting in an eco-friendly way: by swapping, of course!
Easy Green Tips
•Pump It Up! Instead of using aerosol-bottle sunscreens that are a big ‘Oh no!’ for the ozone, use sunscreen that comes in a squeeze tube or a bottle with a pump-style top.
•Shine with Solar. Invest in a solar charger for your electronics. This will not only cut down on your energy usage, it’ll make it easier to charge your gadgets on the go!
By incorporating even a few of these tips, you’ll be well on your way to a summer that’s green as the grass outside your door, so start changing those habits, and spread the word!