How to Have an Eco-Friendly Summer

When the weather warms up, it can be tempting to crank up the air conditioning and shut the blinds after a long, sweaty day in the sun. While the summer season can be particularly harsh on the environment, it is important to be eco-friendly in every season by looking into renewable energy options and changing bad habits. Whether you’re spending your summer by the beach or relaxing from home by the pool, there are plenty of ways to reduce your impact. Here are our tips on how to stay eco-friendly this summer.

Choose Mineral Sunscreen

After unpleasant childhood memories of greasy skin, many people shy away from mineral sunscreen as adults. However, the chemical kind that goes on seamlessly and doesn’t have that lifeguard smell is hard on the environment and is often toxic. Keep in mind that what goes on your skin inevitably ends up in the water. Avoid ingredients like oxybenzone in your sunscreen and look for zinc and titanium dioxide, physical protectors that are more eco-friendly. The good news is that mineral sunscreen no longer feels icky on the skin and now resembles the feel of many chemical sunscreens, but without the harsh ingredients.

Don’t Run Your Air Conditioning All Day

Everyone wants a break from the heat after an exhausting day at work, but that doesn’t mean your apartment needs to stay at sub-zero temperatures all day long. Instead, try programming your thermostat to start cooling your pad an hour to 30 minutes before you get home. That way, your space won’t be sweltering upon your arrival, but you can save on cooling costs and reduce your overall footprint.

Save Laundry and Dishes for the Evening

While nighttime and relaxing Netflix binges pair together like PB&J during most seasons, evenings in the summer should be saved for some of your most energy-consuming chores. We’re looking at you, super-hot dryer. To save on energy costs and avoid flooding your apartment with midday heat, do your laundry and run your dishwasher at night. Or, if you can’t resist getting the chores out of the way, wash your dishes by hand and hang up your clothes to dry outdoors.

Fans Are Your Friend

Fans create a wind-chill effect that makes you feel cooler. Using a fan with air conditioning can help you save energy because you won’t feel the need to turn the temperature down quite so far. You can also try avoiding air conditioning altogether by using a fan by itself. Just make sure to turn them off and unplug them when you’re not home since a fan won’t actually alter your home’s temperature.