6 Simple Steps For A More Sustainable Summer

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Kacey Mya shares 6 simple changes to make your life at home more sustainable and earth-friendly this summer.
The planet needs our help. Since the mid-20th century, human activity has adversely affected the earth. The planet's temperatures have begun to rise because of it, and it will take a global effort to fix it. On top of that, humankind has left an indelible mark. Plastic floats in the ocean, and we have chopped down countless trees in favor of construction. We have made the earth ours, but at a huge cost. 
It's not an utterly insurmountable issue — scientists give us roughly a decade to make sweeping changes to restore the earth's normal. You can help by becoming more sustainable at home this summer and beyond. Here's how.
  1. Replace Paper 
Start with your cleaning supplies. How many paper towels do you go through in your kitchen? Grab a few old t-shirts and cut them into rags. You can use them for drying countertops, dusting, cleaning windows, etc. You can still have a roll on hand for quick clean-ups, but try and default to reusable materials where possible. 

        2. Use the Sunshine

This sustainability tip is particularly useful in the summertime. Invest in a drying rack or hang a clothesline through your backyard. Then, bring your wet laundry outside to hang up and dry in the sun. That way, you can save on the energy that your tumble dryer would use — the heat and sunshine will do it for free. 

         3. Buy Vintage
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Shopping's a perfect summertime activity on rainy days. Rather than heading to the mall and buying new, try a thrift or vintage store. Buying secondhand reduces demand for fast-fashion clothes that seriously damage the earth, primarily by adding more plastic to the environment. Plus, if you buy gently used clothes, accessories and furniture, you're keeping it all out of a landfill. It's a win-win for the environment.

         4. Add Greenery

On that note, you may want to spruce up your home this summer. One eco-friendly way to do it is with a houseplant. A bit of greenery adds freshness and color to a room. Plus, these plants remove carbon dioxide from the air, doing their bit to improve the planet's health. 
If you love to decorate with flowers, learn to piece together arrangements with the blooms in your garden. You can also use the same skills to create a bouquet of artificial blossoms that will last year-round — no need to pick any flowers to replenish the vase.

         5. Tote It

Make this the summer where you ditch plastic bags altogether. Instead, bring a set of canvas totes with you when you shop and carry your purchases home in reusable bags. The same goes for your summertime beach trips — avoid plastic where possible so that it doesn't get soaked up in the sea. Your canvas totes will work just as well as beach bags.

         6. Try Composting 

Finally, you can make a compost bin over a weekend this summer and instantly reduce the amount of waste you send to landfills. Repurpose food scraps, newspaper and coffee filters into nutrient-rich soil for your garden. Bonus points if you grow your own fruits and veggies. 

Go Sustainable This Summer

It doesn't take much to lead an eco-friendly life. Doing so will not only improve the planet for you but for the generations yet to come. Get started this summer, and feel good about the positive contributions you're making. The earth's for all of us — time to do your part in protecting it.
 
Posted by Kelly Harding on Apr 24, 2020 1:50 PM America/Chicago

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