Thursday, May 24, 2012

Make this summer a GREEN summer!

Summer is fast approaching, so what better way to thank Mother Nature for the wonderful, sunny, warm weather than by going green?

1. Skip the toxic fragrance sprays, plug-ins, and fresheners and opt for wide open windows. Why spend upwards of five dollars for synthetic smells like: Fresh Rain, Summer Breeze, or Spring Renewal? Go all natural and let the scents of fresh cut grass, warming sunshine, and summer rain scent your home. 

2. Skip the dryer and hang your clothes outside to dry. Not only will your electric bill thank you, but so will your clothes. The sun naturally brightens whites and infuses your clothes will natural fragrance, no need for scented softeners here. Here's what the website MomAdvice has to say about line-drying: There are many great benefits to utilizing a clothesline. One of the best benefits of line drying your clothes is that they will last much longer than they would if they were just thrown in the dryer. Did you ever think about how much lint is in your dryer when you are done drying it? That is actually all of the worn-away fabric, that would have remained on your garments if you had line dried them. Zippers cause snagging on clothing when tossed in the dryer, but when line dried your garments will remain intact.
The other added benefit is that you save yourself some dough in the process. Did you know that electric dryers are often among the top energy-uses in a home, followed by refrigerators, lighting and water heaters? Not only will you save on your electricity bill, but you can also save on laundry products. The sun is a natural whitener, so no need to buy any bleach. Static cling is created by clothing rubbing together, but if your clothing is hung out to dry it is not necessary to buy any dryer sheets.

3. Say no to toxic insect repellents. Light up citronella candles or try some all natural bug sprays. Wellness Mama has some great recipes that you can check out HERE.

4. Turn off the A/C. Save energy and opt for 'black-out' style curtains instead. You can buy special curtains made especially for reflecting the sunlight to help keep rooms cool, and subsequently keep heat in during the winter months. Find some examples of blackout curtains HERE. 

5. Use your 'food waste' to help grow your flowers. Keep an empty coffee can, drill a few holes into the top, add a charcoal filter and voila! A homemade compost container. When it's full, give your plants a tasty treat! DIYNaturals has a great step-by-step guide to making your own HERE.

6. Say no to the car, and bike or walk. We were all teens once, before we were granted our driver's licenses. So what did we do to get where we needed to go? We biked! There are great 'street-cruiser' bikes out there now, most equipped with baskets for carrying your goods. Carrying a backpack works well too. Bike to the market, or close by stores rather than wasting gas. Improve your carbon footprint this summer by using your car as little as possible.

7. Go on picnics rather than restaurants. There are tons of cute new picnic baskets out there nowadays. So pack one up, head for a grassy spot, and enjoy! Pack lots of fresh fruits and veggies that are biodegradable to cut down on waste you have to bring back with you. There are tons of reusable lunch containers as well, and lots can be found that are not plastic - an added bonus! THIS is a great site to check out for both items!

What other ways do you plan on going green this summer? Let me know!

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