How grateful are you for the fact that the warm weather is finally here and you can enjoy that incomparable combination of a breath of fresh air and the sun beaming down on you?
In today’s article, rather than telling you what you should eat this summer, I will tell you the steps you and your family can take every single day to live a greener, more environmentally friendly lifestyle while saving a few dollars along the way.
It is incredibly important to understand that, in pretty much every case, the choices we make that are good for our environment our also good for our health and wallet too.
Let’s see what we can do about that:
- Go For A Programmable Thermostat: Misuse of air conditioning is a common cause of increased energy bills and certainly not the most environmentally friendly thing either. Programmable and especially smart, learning thermostats are the answer to this problem. Ranging from $100-300 in price, a programmable thermostat could pay for itself within the first year alone when properly implemented. The Nest, which retails for $300, is one of the most popular products on the market right now.
- Try An Eco-Friendly Sunscreen: There’s no question that the appropriate application of sunscreen is one of the most important summer activities to keep you and your family safe. But it’s important to know that not all sunscreens are made equal. Some contain ingredients that are less than environmentally friendly (which is problematic when they run off into lakes and oceans) and may not be the healthiest for your skin either. This is a topic that the Environmental Working Group has explored at great length and offers some valuable insights into in order to help direct consumer decision making.
- Be A Tank Half Empty Type Of Person: Most Canadian’s will be going on at least one extended road trip this summer and a really good way to save the environment and a bit of money is not to top off your tank in order to prevent spillage which, combined with the heat, releases toxic chemicals into the air that are harmful to both your lungs and the environment.
- Stick To Propane Gas Or Electric Grills When Possible: Summer is obviously barbeque season in Canada and although some of us may prefer old school charcoal grills, the emissions they give off aren’t great for your lungs or the environment. If you must use charcoal this summer, explore the all-natural briquettes available at your local home improvement store and try to go for options that are additive free.
- Locate Your Closest Farmer’s Market: How many of you can actually name the closest local farmer’s market to your home? Aside from supporting your health and the local economy, purchasing local produce is amazing for the environment because it has not needed to travel hundreds of miles ( meaning no excessive fuel use, emissions etc) to get to its destination. Don’t know where to find your local farmer’s market? The Toronto Farmer’s Market Network is a great place to start.
- Do Your Chores Off-Peak: Potentially one of the most overlooked ways to save energy, money and the environment is to leave your chores for off-peak hours. During the warmest parts of the day running your major appliances will not only cost you more, but also contribute to heating up your home which forces your A/C to work that much harder to keep it cool.
- Dry Clothes The Old Fashioned Way: Not convinced about doing laundry later at night? If you run your washer during the day, you can still make the greener choice by passing on the dryer and hanging your clothes out to dry instead.
- Light Up Your Life: Using the sun and LED light bulbs. Keep your lights off during the brightest summer days to help save energy and, wherever possible, switch to LED bulbs that require less power and last much longer.
Your health, the health of the environment and the health of your wallet are more closely linked than you may have realized.
Hopefully today’s article has directed you towards some of the modest steps you can take to improve all of the above by embracing a slightly greener lifestyle this summer.