How to enjoy summer without the excess environmental waste it can often create.
Summer is a season that brings excitement, energy and opportunity at every turn. From outdoor barbecues to beach trips, it’s a time of year when people tend to do more, spend more and, unfortunately, waste more than usual.
Whether it’s food or energy excess, there are several things we can do to reduce our environmental impact and save money during the summer months.
Reduce your energy consumption
Summer can be a time when people use a lot of energy to keep cool. To reduce your energy consumption, consider fans instead of air conditioning, take showers instead of baths and use your oven as little as possible.
You can also close your blinds or curtains during the hottest part of the day to keep your home cool, and switch to LED lightbulbs which as well as being more energy efficient, also give off less heat.
Plan your meals
Summer is a great time for fresh fruits and vegetables, but such buoyant supply can often lead to us overbuying. To reduce food waste, plan your meals in advance and only buy what you need.
Also consider freezing any overripe fruits or vegetables for later use in smoothies; and when barbecuing, try to cook only what you need.
Use reusable containers and bags
When packing for a picnic or a day at the beach, bring reusable containers and bags instead of disposable ones. This will reduce the amount of waste you produce and save you money in the long run.
It’s also worth investing in cool packs that will keep your food tasting fresh, along with insulated bottles that can ensure water or other drinks (including wine!) stay cool for hours.
Choose eco-friendly activities
When planning activities for the summer, why not make the most of the great outdoors and go hiking, biking or even paddleboarding?
These activities have less of an impact on the environment than, say, visiting a theme park, and are also considerably cheaper. You can also look for local events that promote sustainability and conservation such as group litter-picking events and family fun days that channel resources back into your local community.
Use public transport
While it can be tempting to take that long-haul holiday or campervan road trip, planes and cars are costly and produce a lot of emissions. So why not pick a destination you can reach by train or coach instead? And where possible, try to commit to walking or cycling short distances, rather than driving.
Keep on top of rubbish
Summer heat is always welcome until you peek into your wheelie bin and see it full of maggots. A simple way to resolve this problem, however, is by reducing waste and disposing properly of the little you do have.
As already mentioned, only buying the food you need will stop things like fresh poultry going off and then being thrown into your outdoor bin: a sure-fire way to attract pests.
Also, thoroughly rinsing recycling and creating an outdoor compost will significantly improve the overall cleanliness and efficiency of your household’s waste output.