Top 10 Ways to Go Green This Summer

Top 10 Ways to Go Green This Summer

With summer upon us, it’s easy to approach your favorite activities and those routine chores with a little more thought towards the environment. “In our daily routines, we can lessen the impact we have on the environment. And since summertime is here, and we’ll be enjoying the outdoors, traveling and staying cool, it’s a great time to start,” says Josh Radoff, Co-Founder and Principal of YRG Sustainability and member of SCA Tissue’s Tork Green Hygiene Council. Having helped corporate and government clients deal with carbon emissions and climate change, Radoff’s ideas can help you make those changes at home: {{more}}* Get out of your car: Bike or walk to the grocery store, work and everywhere in range. * Avoid purchasing new stuff: Garage and yard sales are the essence of summer. Put the “reuse” back in Reduce, Reuse, Recycle. And say no to plastic bags. Use reusable grocery and produce bags and purchase groceries in bulk to reduce packaging waste. * Wash your car at a car wash: Washing your car in the driveway sends soaps, oils, toxic metals and chemicals into nearby waterways and is harmful for downstream drinking water. Use a commercial car wash instead. They are required to send water to the sewer system for treatment before being released. * Swim in greener pools: Saline and oxygen technology pools are chlorine alternatives. Keep pools covered when not in use, to limit evaporation. * Eat local and organic: Purchase local groceries from your farmers’ market, sign up for a Community Supported Agriculture program or choose local food at supermarkets. This supports local farmers and lessens transportation energy. * Don’t be an energy hog: Use fans instead of air conditioning, open windows at night to let in cooler air and close blinds during the day to keep out sunlight. Keep the thermostat closer to 78 than 68. If purchasing new AC units, buy Energy Star qualified. Switching from incandescent light bulbs to fluorescents also lessens lighting and cooling energy consumption. * Green your lawn: Replace turf grass with lower water consuming plants like native ground cover. Plant perennial trees and plants. Avoid gas-powered lawn mowers by using a push or electric one. Minimize toxic pesticides and herbicides by planting native plants. Water lawns in the morning or evening to increase water infiltration and minimize evaporation. * De-tox when using bug spray and sunscreen: Avoid bug sprays with the ingredient DEET and look for plant-based repellents that include citronella, lemongrass, rosemary and geranium oil. Some sunscreen ingredients are thought to negatively affect your endocrine system, so select mineral-based products containing titanium dioxide and zinc oxide. And choose those offering “broad-spectrum” protection against more than just UVB rays. * Eliminate single serving items: Bottled beverages require packaging and energy just to get that liquid to your mouth. Avoid single-serving items and bring a coffee mug and water bottle instead. * Make your house chemical-free: There are nearly 80,000 chemicals in conventional cleaning products. Most end up down the drain or in our bodies. Try safer green cleansers. So make some changes and go green this summer!