Ways to Stay Green in Summer 2022

20 Ways to Stay Green in Summer 2022

When summer hits, fun in the sun usually takes center stage, but it's also the perfect time to do your part for the planet. Summer activities often cause people to use more energy and water. Fortunately, you can keep your carbon footprint low with some simple strategies.

If you're wondering what you can do to help the environment this summer, we've got you covered. There are many ways to protect the planet, from pulling down the shades to changing how you barbecue. To give you some ideas, we've put together a list of eco-friendly summer activities and things you can do to help the environment in summer 2022.

20 Ways to Help the Environment This Summer

Are you wondering how to help protect the planet? Try these 20 ways to do your part for the environment.

1. Use Eco-Friendly Products for Your Cookouts

All of those summer barbecues can mean a lot of waste. Disposable products like paper plates, plastic silverware and plastic cups can all end up in the landfill. Our first save-the-earth tip is to use compostable dishware and utensils instead. If you're up for doing the dishes, opt for using regular dishware. Either way, avoid using too much plastic when you're entertaining guests.

2. Buy Your Food Locally

When you buy food from the grocery store, it's likely traveled thousands of miles to get to you. All of that travel equates to one thing — excessive carbon emissions output. On the other hand, buying from local sellers is much easier on the planet.

Generally, local farmers and producers spend less time transporting the food, generate fewer emissions and use more sustainable farming practices. Not to mention, it's extra-fresh and is usually better for you, as locally grown food typically has more nutrients. As a bonus, buying locally means you're supporting your local economy.

Cover Your Windows

Many types of energy-efficient window coverings can keep the house cool and lower your energy bill.

3. Cover Your Windows

We often use electric fans and air conditioning systems to keep cool in the summer. But did you know that the sunlight coming through the windows can make them work a lot harder? If you can block the sunlight from entering your home, you can reduce the amount of energy it takes to stay cool.

Many types of energy-efficient window coverings can keep the house cool and lower your energy bill. For example, cellular shades can bring down heat gain by up to 60%, and awnings can reduce solar heat gain by up to 77%.

If you don't want to buy new window coverings, simply closing the blinds can help a lot.

4. Use Daylight to Save Electricity

We just told you to close the blinds, but you actually may want to keep them open on some days. When it isn't quite so hot, you can leave the curtains open to use the natural light. More sunlight allows you to keep the electric lights off and save energy.

5. Charge Devices With Solar Power

On a camping trip? Spending more time outside? Try giving your phone some juice with a solar charger. These affordable little devices are a great way to harness renewable energy on an individual scale.

6. Get a Reusable Water Bottle

While you need to stay hydrated in the hot summer weather, plastic water bottles create a lot of waste. Plus, they take a whopping 450 years to decompose! Invest in a reusable water bottle to keep you hydrated all summer. These options are durable, stylish and much more eco-friendly.

Just make sure you buy a water bottle free of bisphenol A (BPA). It's been shown to seep into food and drinks and is linked to adverse health effects. While you're at it, grab a reusable straw to further reduce your environmental impact.

7. Start a Garden

Want to create a habitat for local wildlife or grow your own produce? Starting a garden in your backyard is a great way to help the environment during the summer. Take an afternoon to clear some space and put that green thumb to work!

Gardening can also help you go green in other ways, like composting and reusing water. Things like composted food scraps and the water leftover from cooking pasta or rinsing produce can all make for nutritious fertilizer sources. If you want to go the extra mile, you can create a rainwater collection system to use in your garden.

8. Rework Your Lawn

Many people need to water their lawns to keep them looking fresh and green. This can be a big waste of water, especially in dry areas like the southwest. Instead, try changing up your lawn to a drought-resistant, low-water solution. Look for grass that does well in your climate and doesn't need much water. Consider placing some rocks instead or switching your shrubbery to succulents, which look great and call for much less water.

9. Eat Less Meat

The vegan lifestyle isn't for everyone, but you can make a big difference by cutting back on meat consumption. The meat industry, particularly beef production, releases methane into the environment. The United Nations says methane could be up to 34 times more damaging than carbon dioxide over the next 100 years. Other environmental issues with meat production include high water consumption and the poor treatment of animals.

If cutting out meat altogether sounds tough, even switching to poultry can be a good way to help the planet.

Dry Your Laundry Outdoors

A gentle dry on a clothesline may help your clothes last longer, as dryers can sometimes damage your clothing.

10. Dry Your Laundry Outdoors

In the summer, skip the dryer and hang your clothes up outside. If you have space for a clothesline, you can let the sun do the work for you, helping you reduce energy use. A gentle dry on a clothesline may help your clothes last longer, as dryers can sometimes damage your clothing.

11. Volunteer for a Clean-Up Event

The summer months are an excellent time for clean-up events. During a clean-up, you'll join forces with other eco-warriors, armed with trash bags and pokers. Together, you pick up litter and other trash clogging up an ecosystem, whether it's a river, forest or beach. A clean-up is a great way to help protect Earth, spend some time outdoors and potentially make some new friends at the same time.

12. Switch to a Reef-Safe Sunscreen

Before heading out for a day at the beach, make sure your sunscreen is reef-safe. Many sunscreens use harmful chemicals to block ultraviolet light. These chemicals have been linked to the deterioration of coral reefs — a vital part of the aquatic ecosystem. Look for a sunscreen that uses minerals to block ultraviolet light, namely zinc oxide and titanium dioxide, which are safe, effective and won't hurt our reefs.

13. Use Ecosia

Wondering what you can do to help save the planet without much effort? Ecosia has created a unique way to help Earth through something you probably do every day. Ecosia is a search engine like Google that puts its proceeds toward planting trees. Add Ecosia to your favorites bar for easy access. Make your everyday searches count with such an easy way to help save the environment.

14. Walk and Bike More

Some warm, sunny weather is the perfect excuse to break out your bike or walk around your neighborhood. On average, cars release about 4.6 metric tons of carbon dioxide each year. Additionally, vehicles emit methane and nitrous oxide — damaging greenhouse gasses. Opting to ride your bike or go for a walk rather than drive can help you reduce your carbon footprint. It has the bonus of being good for your health, too.

15. Buy and Sell Secondhand

During summer, yard sales are everywhere. Peruse your neighbor's offerings or local secondhand stores to get more life out of used items. There, you're sure to find some hidden gems.

If you missed spring cleaning, summer is also a great opportunity to get rid of some of your old items. Consider holding your own yard sale, donating items or selling your old things to a consignment shop.

If you find any used smartphones while going through your stuff, ecoATM can help. If your device is eligible, we offer cash on the spot and keep your old phone out of the landfill. We have kiosks across the United States and make it easy to do right by the planet and your wallet.

16. Do Your Energy-Heavy Chores at Night

Many people avoid firing up their ovens in the summer. Have you considered doing so for your other appliances? Try doing chores like laundry and dishes after the sun goes down. It can keep you from building up unnecessary heat during the day. This eco-friendly summer tip can also lower your energy bill since many providers charge less for power during off-peak times.

You can shop for products made from recycled or recyclable materials. Another option is to reduce packaging altogether.

17. Consider the Environment While Shopping

As you shop, look out for eco-friendly businesses and products that are good for the planet. You can shop for products made from recycled or recyclable materials. Another option is to reduce packaging altogether. Get some reusable bags to bring to the grocery store, and buy in bulk to minimize packaging waste.

You can also support the planet by working with companies that believe in saving the environment. For example, here at ecoATM, we're committed to reducing e-waste and have kept millions of devices out of landfills. By recycling devices, we've saved the equivalent of the water needed for 37 Olympic-sized swimming pools, the greenhouse gas emissions of over 2,000 cars a year and the energy to power over 6,000 homes a year. In short, we're big on helping the planet.

18. Plant a Tree

Remember that dangerous carbon dioxide we mentioned? Trees can make quick work of it, converting it to breathable oxygen. Planting a few around your property can help offset emissions and beautify your outdoor space at the same time. Trees can also offer a few other benefits, like:

  • Boosting your mental health
  • Filtering pollutants out of the air
  • Creating habitats for wildlife
  • Providing shade
  • Purchases and subscriptions
  • Filtering rainwater before it reaches waterways and underground aquifers

19. Switch to a Propane or Electric Grill

Many people use charcoal grills for cooking out. Unfortunately, they aren't very good for the environment. It releases loads of carbon as you burn the charcoal. Plus, the charcoal pieces often contain contaminants like coal, plastic and resin — things you probably don't want near your food.

Both gas-fired and propane grills burn fossil fuel. Still, propane is typically more efficient. It burns hotter and faster, allowing you to use less fuel when you're cooking. An even better option is to get a solar grill. It can help you reduce emissions by working with a cleaner, renewable energy source. If you're in the market for a new grill, consider switching to solar or propane.

20. Slay Energy Vampires

You might leave numerous electronics plugged in 24/7. Have you considered how much energy they use when sitting idle? This “vampire power” or standby power can boost your energy bill and carbon footprint. Some devices, like AC power adapters, constantly supply a charge even when you don't have anything plugged in. Other devices, like a microwave, might use electricity to display the time. A TV could be constantly powered as it looks for a signal from your remote.

You can help keep vampire energy at bay by replacing power-hungry devices with energy-efficient electronics or unplugging them when not in use. The easiest way to do so is to use a power strip or surge protector. Then, you can simply flip a switch when you leave or know you won't be using the devices for a while.

Reduce E-Waste With ecoATM

These eco-friendly tips for summer can help you explore the many ways you can go green. 

Reduce E-Waste With ecoATM

These eco-friendly tips for summer can help you explore the many ways you can go green. One topic we haven't discussed is e-waste, which is a huge problem for the planet. When phones and other electronic devices get sent to landfills or are improperly disposed of, they can negatively affect the environment.

Electronics can put toxic materials, like mercury, arsenic and lead, into the environment. They can contaminate soil and waterways, impacting animals, plant life and water. Heavy metals can accumulate in the food chain and pose a threat to both human health and wildlife. Phones also contain valuable precious metals. By reclaiming these metals from the device, we can limit the need for damaging mining activities.

Trading in your phone is a great way to help the planet. When you responsibly hand off your old phone to ecoATM, you give it a chance at a new life. We can keep those toxic materials out of the environment and recover the precious metals used in the device. In many cases, we can offer cash for your phone, too — it's a win-win for everyone.

Find an ecoATM kiosk near you or price your device online and get started on your quest to go green this summer.