Tips for a climate-friendly summer

June 29, 2022

This summer is predicted to be a “summer of disasters” – with extreme heat, hurricanes, droughts, and wildfires. To combat the doom and gloom, here is a list of helpful ideas on how to have a climate-friendly summer:

Camp instead of staying at a hotel. Not only will you be closer to nature, but your vacation will have a lower energy and emissions profile.
Beat the heat by taking cooler showers.
Reducing showers to 10 minutes can help save hundreds of thousands of gallons of water per year.
Fans can cool a room up to 10 degrees! Consider open windows at night then closing them in the morning and turning on fans to keep rooms cool. They use much less power than traditional ACs!
If you have the space, plant trees! In urban areas, “heat islands” exist in spaces where no trees are planted, and in many places (like Los Angeles) organizations will give you up to 4 free trees to plant on your property.

Reduce electrical use during the day. Using natural lighting and using less electricity during peak hours can help reduce strain on the electrical grid and, in turn, cause less black outs, brown outs, and even wildfires.
Cover up with UV protection clothing, when possible, instead of wearing sunscreen. This can reduce chemical pollution and also reduces single-use plastics.
Stay hydrated in the heat with reusable water bottles!
Summer can be a good time to walk or bike commute.
Shop for the ultimate local produce by gardening! Gardening greens our environment via the addition of plants, flowers, fruits, and vegetables, and can improve air and soil quality. In addition to growing your own food and beautifying your space, gardening also supports local wildlife and pollinators.
Travel more sustainably: before you make a local trip to a neighboring town for a weekend activity or event, see if there are options to take a bus or train instead of driving. If that’s not an option, see if you can carpool!
For someone like me who is thrilled to put all my winter clothes away but am realizing none of my summer clothes from last year fit, I’m in need to go secondhand shopping for new summer digs! There are plenty of cool tank tops, summer dresses, shorts, you name it at thrift stores or your nearby Goodwill that are looking for new homes. Not only that, but you will save money by buying secondhand.
Hit up the farmers market instead of your national grocery chain: again, summer is the best time of year for fresh produce that is not as easy to come around in the winter months. Take advantage of local produce and farmers markets, which also connect you to your larger community and people in your neighborhood.
Summer BBQ food choices: we all look forward to BBQs, especially good ole 4th of July. This year instead of grilling up your typical cheeseburgers and hot dogs, try going without the meat! What do you think about vegetable stir fry? Did you know you can grill a pizza with fresh dough right on your grill? Try it out! You get extra bonus points for using reusable containers, utensils, and plates.
If you have the space in your backyard, put up a drying line and hang your wet clothes out from the washing machine. What better way to get that fresh scent into your clothing that people pay to do!
If you’re one of the 72 percent of Americans planning a summer trip, consider offsetting your vacation emissions! Many airlines offer the option to offset your flight emissions during checkout or you can use an online emissions calculator to determine the emissions from your transportation and energy use and find a reputable retailer to support emissions reductions in the sector and location of your choice.

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