The days are long and hot, but not long enough. Make the most of your summer by leaving only footprints in the sand vs. carbon footprints in your trail.
Here are 10 ways you can have a more sustainable summer!
1. Let That Natural Light In
With longer days, try keeping your lights off for as long as possible.
When the sun is too hot but the light is still needed, utilize outside awnings or shady trees to let the light in while keeping the heat out.
Cross-ventilation can be achieved by opening windows on opposite sides of the room, which can minimize cooling expenses in the summer.
2. Pull The Shades
When the sun starts to heat up your home too much, pull those shades shut! Blackout curtains, shades, and blinds all save electricity by reducing to quantity of sunlight and UV rays that enter the room.
As an added bonus, they also preserve furniture and floors from fading and sun damage.
Blackout curtains and shades can limit the amount of heat transferred through your windows by up to 24%, keeping the rooms they're in much cooler in the summer.
This will help you save energy by allowing you to use your heating and cooling system far less and more efficiently.
3. Always Bring Reusable Mugs, Water Bottles, and Snack Containers
New plastic is a problem, and recycled plastics can only be recycled so many times, eventually turning into garbage.
Reducing the number of disposable products you use is a vital step toward living a low-waste lifestyle. You can save energy and materials by reducing or eliminating single-use items.
You'll avoid producing single-use waste items like coffee cups, prevent harmful plastic BPA from contaminating your drinks, and help to save the planet all in one.
So, remember to bring your reusable mugs, water bottles and snack containers!
4. Choose more Eco-Friendly Options for Fire Pits
We all adore fire pits because sitting around a crackling bonfire with music, food, and friends is a wonderful way to spend a summer evening.
However, burning wood isn’t the greatest for the environment, so if you're looking for an alternative, you have a lot of options for finding the perfect eco-friendly fire pit.
Consider converting your fire pit to natural gas or using a log like Pine Mountain’s Recycled Coffee Log as a cleaner alternative.
5. Use a Recycled Cooler
Unfortunately, coolers are built of numerous layers of various sorts of plastic. This makes recycling incredibly complex, if at all possible.
Just like switching to reusable containers and mugs is a great way to be more eco-friendly this summer, so is switching to a recycled cooler.
If you're in the market for an eco-cooler, try out a recycled cooler by Igloo. Their coolers are made with things like discarded milk jugs and yogurt containers, which would otherwise end up in landfills all over the world.
Go reusable with the recycled Igloo ECOCOOL collection.
6. Bring an Extra Reusable Trash Tote
By bringing an extra trash bag, you can clean up beaches or parks when you visit.
When the tides rise, any trash or plastics you left behind will get carried back into the ocean, where it can be very dangerous for marine life who may confuse it for food.
The same goes for parks, as birds often eat plastics and other harmful wastes for the same reason.
Next time you go out for some fun in the sun, bring a reusable trash tote with you to help clean up our environment and protect our wildlife.
Additionally, you can find or coordinate local events in your neighborhood that organize trash pick-up days, which can help you to get involved and make a difference.
7. Plant a Garden With Fruits and Veggies in Your Backyard
To grow their commercialized crops, conventional farming uses a lot of pesticides and synthetic fertilizers, contaminating our environment and the foods we eat with dangerous chemicals, some of which have been linked to cancer and other serious ailments.
You can actively decrease the amount of hazardous chemicals contaminating our environment and waterways by cultivating your own garden and deciding what goes on your plants and into your soil.
Growing your own food is fun and more environmentally friendly. It reduces the carbon footprint required to get food from farm to grocery store and can help enrich your local soil when utilizing safe and natural fertilizers and supplies.
Plus, having your own garden is a great way to relax and enjoy those long summer days.
8. Shop at Your Local Farms and Farmers' Markets
If you don’t have a green thumb, no problem! You can still do your part by supporting your local community and the environment simultaneously by shopping at your local farms and farmers' markets.
Going shopping at these places can help to reduce the carbon footprint left behind from buying produce at grocery stores, as many are held in plastic containers.
More and more local farmers are utilizing other low-impact methods, such as on-site composting, to help alleviate climate change and other environmental challenges.
9. Shop Second-Hand
When shopping for items like fun hats, glasses, beach toys, and accessories consider buying second-hand rather than buying new.
Purchasing pre-owned clothing helps us to expand our wardrobe without adding to the manufacturing process's environmental footprint.
The fashion business contributes 8-10% of global carbon emissions, consumes a lot of water, and exploits workers and animals all over the world.
Buying pre-owned clothing slows down the rapid fashion cycle and the supply chain's constant demands on low-wage workers.
You're also keeping clothes out of landfills by giving them a new lease on life while also uncovering unique and exceptional pieces.
10. Travel Smart
Try traveling smarter by going on foot, bike, or taking public transportation. You can even use electric cars to reduce your carbon footprint.
Walking, bicycling, and taking the train are the most efficient modes of transportation.
Using a bike instead of a car for short travels reduces your carbon footprint by up to 75%. For medium-distance travel, taking the train instead of driving reduces your emissions by up to 80%.
If you're traveling quite the distance and must go by plane, there are still ways you can reduce your carbon footprint.
Start Your Summer Mornings With A Coffee Pod That Smiles
Having great summer sustainability doesn't have to be rocket science. By following some of these tips and tricks for sustainable living, your summer will start to look greener than ever!
For more sustainable summer tips and coffee talk, subscribe to our Roasted 2 Composted blog and make sure to start your day with a Smile Coffee Werks® commercially compostable, carbon neutral coffee pod!