Environmental Tips for Summer

So the World Cup seems to have come to a shuddering halt for England, but Wimbledon is on and we’re having some surprisingly warm weather. It must be summer! It’s easy when we get to this time of year to carry on as we did in the winter and forget the little things we can do to not only make our lives easier, but also to help our environment. Here are a few tips for summer, and although some of them are obvious I bet at least one person you know hasn’t thought of it!

1: It’s warm. So use airflow to help cool your building. Open a window at each end of the room, and the airflow through will help keep you cool without the need for electricity-wasting fans or air-con running all day. It will also remind you that there is a real world outside, and might encourage you to go and get some air at lunch instead of eating at your desk! Also, turn the lights out and let the sun attend to your lighting needs: fluorescent lights in particular can heat up a room like an oven.

2: Get a sports bottle. During summer we all need to be more conscious of how much water we are drinking, but that doesn’t mean we have to be wasteful. Get a sports bottle, they’re shockingly cheap in supermarkets and discount sport stores: mine cost me £1.50 and it holds just over a litre of fluid. Fill it up the night before and pop it in the fridge, or fill it 1/4 full with water and put it in the freezer: the next day you have a ready-made ice pack already inside your drink! Some bottles even come with a detachable ice pack inside the bottle. Re-filling your sports bottle means less plastic bottles wasted and reusing a plastic bottle is not really a good idea: in hot weather they degrade faster and can leave harmful toxins in your drink.

3: Make your own ready meals. Cooking during the day and early evening will heat up your home like crazy, so find some easy to cook recipes that can be kept in the fridge and make them once the sun is down. Put them in the fridge once they are cooked and the next day you have a meal ready: it only takes a few minutes in the microwave to reheat, using far less energy and creating far less heat.

4: Unplug. Idling electric devices put out a lot of heat and waste energy. If they aren’t in use for the next half hour, turn them off and find something else to do. The same goes for your car, don’t let it sit there idling while you eat in the drivers seat: most cars can have the battery on to keep the air con going without having the engine actually running. Mine has two clicks on the ignition when I turn the key, the first is the battery (air con and radio) while the second click starts the car ready for driving.

5: It’s dry outside. Don’t use your tumble dryer: we have the wonderful gift of hot sun and a natural breeze so use it! Tumble dryers use a lot of energy and put out an awful lot of heat. There are washing lines and clothes airers to suit every space, whether indoors or out, so grab one and fit it in your garden or put it up near a window so the sun and open windows can dry your clothes for free. It will also make their freshness last longer and the material will wear out less as it’s not being thrown around and super heated!

As I said, some of these tips seem obvious but keep an eye out for those people who haven’t thought of them and be sure to point them in the right direction.

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