The warm weather is coming, and that means more time outside, more time traveling, and more time with our air conditioning on. Follow these three easy ways to reduce your waste, spending, and impact on our environment, so you can enjoy a truly “green” spring and summer!
Watch your A.C.
To save energy and reduce your utility bill, unplug any unused appliances and electronics and turn the thermostat up your air conditioning. (Or turn the A.C. off entirely and try opening up the windows on a breezy day.)
Another way to reduce your energy consumption is to spend more time outdoors. Create a scavenger hunt for the kiddos, explore a new nature trail, or read a book and soak up some sun!
Don't idle your car
To save gas and reduce your carbon footprint, try not to idle your car. Accelerating slowly and staying at the speed limit can greatly reduce how much fuel you use. And if you can, take a look at the world from a different view, and try walking or biking to your destination. It’s great for you and for the environment!
Mind your meals
To save money on food, eat lower on the food chain. A lot of resources are needed in animal agriculture and to create animal products, which means the carbon footprint for those foods is higher. In the Chippewa Valley, farmers markets supply tons of local plant-based foods at great prices, and they usually have some beautiful flowers to brighten up your home!
Farmers markets can also help reduce the amount of waste you produce, and most waste from the market is compostable. Look into buying or making a compost bin.
You can use the above tips anytime, but for more long-term/year-round reductions on the environment try these tips:
- Recycle. If you don’t have one already, check with your local waste management team to get a recycling bin. To learn about what you can and can’t recycle where you live, call and talk with your waste hauler. You can also follow Eau Claire County Recycling on Facebook for tons of great information.
- Change your light bulbs. Switching to LED lights can save you money on your electricity bill, and they also last longer than traditional light bulbs so you won’t have to purchase as many.
- Make conscious purchases. Be aware of what you’re buying and what it is packaged in. This is a huge step in creating less waste, in terms of both trash and food.
I hope that using these tips helps you enjoy the new season. By working together and taking our own small steps, we can help create a world that we can all enjoy for years to come, all while saving a few dollars!
Sarah McInnis is director of play experience at the Children’s Museum of Eau Claire, a community partner of Chippewa Valley Family.