Special Report

20 Ways to Make Your Summer More Environmentally Friendly

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16. Try natural products for your summer remedies

Two of the biggest summer nuisances are excessive sweat and swarming insects. But some of the remedies are not great for the environment. Although aerosol cans are not as dangerous for the ozone as they once were in the late 1970s, they can still leave a carbon footprint. Deodorant spray contains hydrocarbons and/or compressed gases that can contribute to global warming.

If you are looking to avoid chemicals when repelling mosquitoes, then there are plenty of natural products on the market as well. You can also try natural ingredients, such as lemon eucalyptus oil, cinnamon oil, citronella oil, and tea tree oil, to repel mosquitoes.

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17. Unplug electronics when you are out and try solar power chargers

Unplugging during the summer — or going on a digital detox — is a good way to destress and can even improve your health, but another type of unplugging can also help the environment. Beyond just turning off electronic devices when they’re not in use, unplugging them can also save energy and money. The average U.S. household has 40 products that are constantly plugged in, using as much as 10% of a home’s energy and costing over $100 each year. Power strips make it easier to turn off most electronic devices when not in use.

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18. Use indoor plants as natural air purifiers

Though this one may not have benefits just in the summer, but year round, bringing nature indoors is not only pleasant, but provides also several health benefits, such as lowering stress and improve happiness. And though many champions of house plants have claimed they also help purify the air, more recent and comprehensive studies show this may not be the case. Regardless, some natural green and other colors indoors can only do good.

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19. Save on your electricity bill by letting in natural daylight

Letting in too much sunlight may contribute to overheating homes, but finding the right balance of letting in daylight from windows — but not direct sunlight — can reduce the need for artificial lights. Using natural daylight can save on electricity and help the planet. The Department of Energy says energy-efficient windows and good lighting design can go a long way, and to consider them when building a new home. “North-facing windows admit relatively even, natural light, producing little glare and almost no unwanted summer heat gain,” according to the DOE. Skylights are also a great way to let in light without sacrificing privacy.

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20. Take an eco-friendly summer vacation

Two-thirds of all family travelers will head out on a summer vacation this year, according to AAA. While travelling is no doubt fun, it can also leave a large carbon footprint. With the planet in mind, more vacationers are finding ways to make their getaways environmentally friendly. They may even choose an eco-tourism centric destination, such as in British Columbia, Canada or Costa Rica. But anyone can make their vacation more sustainable by following some simple tips. For example, you can find an environmentally-friendly form of transportation to arrive and get around your destination; choose an energy-efficient hotel; stay away from damaging recreational activities; and conserve water and energy use.