I know what you are thinking, we should be eco-friendly all year round! However, there are some activities that are more suited to the weather. As I deliberately put my laundry through a shorter spin cycle knowing that the sun would do the rest, I wondered what else I could do to fully take advantage of the warmer weather.
Eco-Friendly Tips for The Summer
1. Dry Laundry Outside
If you have the space, hang your clothes outside to dry. I recently found out that you can get wall-mounted outdoor airers so worth looking options that might suit any space you do have. I hang clothes outside all year round but in the summer, I take it a step further by shortening the spin cycle. This saves energy and money as well. The clothes will be wetter than normal but that’s OK.
Tip 1: For items that need to retain shape, lay them on a towel, roll and squeeze to draw out any excess water.
Tip 2: If you are at work all day, hang them out overnight (if it’s safe to do so) or time your laundry to finish in the morning and hang them up first thing. Check the weather forecast in advance though!
2. Use the Oven Less
One of the bedrooms in our house is directly above the kitchen and it gets hotter when we use the oven for dinner. I love this idea by Penny from Penny Blogs about eating less hot food. So more salads and picnic type meals. It saves using the oven and the hob. Christy also agreed and added that they like to cook out on the BBQ as much as possible in the summer! Which saves on the electricity bills too.
3. Leave the Car at Home
Becky suggested leaving the car at home and walking everywhere you can – which is so much easier to do in the summer. Although with the British summer make sure you cater for the high chance of rain! Cycling is also a great option here – if you can do it. Unfortunately, as I can’t cycle (yes this surprises many people) it’s just walking for me.
4. Lookout for Free Outdoor Activities
Entertaining kids in the winter can be challenging as most outdoor activities are closed or just impractical. Which is why I love this suggestion from Sinead who said:
We make the most of free spaces in our city (parks, museums, libraries, holiday events and so much more) and take packed lunches with us. I used to forget about taking food so would spend a fortune on snacks which defeated the point of doing a free activity.
Attending local events reduces the travel distance, which is not only better for the environment but it means less travel time playing I spy. You also get to support local businesses, especially if you forget your lunch! Sadly, some amazing local events/spots are not well publicised so worth joining a few local online groups or checking your local library for info.
5. Make the Most of the Natural Light
I have an early riser so most mornings are spent in the lounge and the first thing I do is turn the dimmest light on. But after hearing Chantelle’s tip to open all blinds as soon as we wake up so that there is no need to put lights on, I need to start embracing the light! It is surprising how much difference natural light can make in a room and to your mood. I certainly need the latter at 5am when even the kids TV deem it too early to start broadcasting!
6. Embrace the Rain
My fingers are most definitely not of the green variety so I must admit that our garden doesn’t get the love it deserves. But for those who are that way inclined then this tip is for you.
If you need to put water on your garden or plants it’s best to do it when the sun is down to reduce the water waste, because if you use the water in the middle of the day it just evaporates. Carly
Installing a water butt (don’t giggle), is a great way to collect rain water. Despite my lack of gardening abilities we do have one and have been known to use it. Also very useful for rinsing dirty outdoor items like muddy shoes.
7. Grow Your Own Food
After reading the point above, you will know that his tip is not one of mine. It was suggested by Janet who grows blackcurrants, tomatoes, lettuce or beans most summers. She added “We’ve also tried growing courgettes and we have an apple tree. Our garden is small but we use just a little bit of space and get quite a lot out of it. I’m growing sweet peas this year so we can enjoy cut flowers in the house for weeks on end without paying shop prices.”
What a great idea! The in-laws are setting up a veg patch in our garden this year which they come over to water because we are hopeless. Apparently we will be eating lots of courgettes this summer!
I love that most of these ideas involve spending some time outdoors! Which means consuming less electricity as you are not indoors using various electronic devices. You will also be getting some exercise and fresh air. What’s not to like?
What do you think? Have you got any summer-related eco-friendly tips to add to this list?