7 Ways to Save the Planet in the Summer
As global warming is gaining momentum, the temperatures in the summer rise, and so does our energy and water use. Although most human-caused greenhouse emissions can be traced back to as little as one hundred companies, we as consumers have the final say when it comes to voting for sustainable practices.
There are many ways to reduce our individual carbon footprint and contribute to a systematic change on a larger scale. Today we will introduce seven habits that help you become more eco-friendly in the summer and do not require much effort.
- Eat local
At this time of the year, many fruits and vegetables are in season – a sign to shop at a local farmer’s market. Not only is locally grown organic food good for your health, but also it is more sustainable: no carbon emissions due to transportation from overseas and limited use of chemicals, hazardous for soils. You can also try growing your own greens on the balcony or even initiating a miniature garden in the backyard.
- Check out thrifting
It’s no secret that the fast fashion industry produces a colossal amount of waste and emissions to the environment. On average, consumers throw away 70 pounds of clothing each year, resulting in 13 tonnes of textile going to landfills globally. Yet, you can stop contributing to that number and shop second-hand. For example, get a summer dress in a thrift store and cut down its carbon footprint by 5-10% for every three months of use, as research by WRAP concluded.
- Say no to single-use items
As the weather becomes more favorable for outside gatherings, people tend to opt for disposable dishes, cups, utensils, and bottled drinks to make the picnic clean-up more convenient. However, those disposable items are almost impossible to recycle and take centuries to decompose. So instead, you can bring regular dishes and refill your reusable bottles, minimizing plastic pollution in the oceans and land.
- Support nearby resorts
Travel, especially by plane, is responsible for 50% of CO2 emissions produced by people on vacations. Thus to reduce your carbon footprint by half while enjoying all the perks of taking a break from work, consider looking for local resorts just a few miles outside of the city. Also, this way, you support the local economy and promote sustainability goals, making the planet a better place for future generations.
- Commute by bike
Since the weather conditions allow it, you can consider your bike as a vehicle for your summer trips to work. It benefits your health (cardiovascular and aerobic fitness), your wallet (up to $400 a month in savings), and the planet (8,9 grams of CO2 per gallon of gasoline). Finally, it’s a great opportunity to get some fresh air and enjoy the sun, while saving the Earth!
- Turn down the air conditioning
We might not realize it, but air conditioning (AC) is the primary reason our energy bills remain high during the summer. Because of the cooling systems, roughly 117 million tons of carbon dioxide are released into the air each year in the U.S. The number keeps growing as the planet gets hotter. So it’s wise to be cautious about running your air conditioner and turn it off whenever not in use. You should also consider replacing your old AC system with a more energy-efficient one.
- Turn sunlight into energy
The renewable energy market proliferates as never before, and alternatives to evil fossil fuels are no longer a novelty. But have you ever heard of SolarGaps? Those innovative blinds have solar panels installed in them. They not only turn sunbeams into electricity but also create active shadowing to prevent the heat from entering your room, and as a result, reduce your carbon footprint!