My fabulous, brilliant friend Lisa of A Daily Pinch is sharing her tips for living greener in summer with us today. (She knows that I am all about natural and environmentally friendly alternatives around here.) Keep your eyes peeled, because this rock star is working on her first book soon and it is going to knock your socks off!
Most people don’t know I was an environmental writer and blogger for a very long time. I wrote, and researched, about the science of “green.” I still live a very green life. Oh, I’m not as hardcore as I used to be — I buy Seventh Generation Laundry Detergent, instead of making my own five (5) gallons at a time and will confess to using my dryer more often than having clothes hanging outside and all over the house to dry.
I wanted to share some of the small things you can do this summer, which I learned from years of research and writing, about living more “green” and taking care of the world around you.
1. Put a bucket in the shower with you. Use the water you catch (gray water) to water your flowers. We also did this when our area of North Carolina was under a severe drought watch to flush the toilets. By the way, you get bonus points if you’re using a cleanser, like Dr. Bronners, which are safe for ground water.
2. I know you’ve heard this a million times, but you can save a lot of water by turning the sink off when brushing your teeth. Or you can take it a step further and brush your teeth in the shower while the conditioner is in your hair.
3. Turn the air conditioner down and put the ceiling fan on. We can cool our family room (where we all congregate) by five degrees with our ceiling fan on high.
4. Use the crock pot all year round. The house doesn’t heat up as it does when the oven is on and, quite frankly, it’s lovely to be able to pull out a whole roasted chicken and potatoes and not sweat while doing so. The only thing I have to do is slice some tomatoes and cucumbers and I’m done.
5. Can’t sleep at night because you’re too hot? Turn on the fan, strip your clothes off and when you start to sweat, spray your body with water. The air from the fan causes the water to condense on your body and cool you off, and it feels like you’ve stuck your head in a freezer. (It’s a peri-menopause life saver as well!)
6. Pump gas in the morning. When you fill up your car in the evening, you are promoting the build-up of VOCs (volatile organic compounds) in the air due to the evaporation of gasoline. When temperatures are cooler, gasoline is denser and evaporates less. The amount released by your car is miniscule, but when compounded by millions of drivers on the road, and we set ourselves up for poor air quality and degradation of the ozone layer.
These are just a few of my tips to help save your sanity, and on your utility bills, this summer.
What are some of your tips for living green in summer?