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Friday, May 10, 2013

5 Ways to Reduce Waste This Summer

By Melissa Hincha-Ownby

            

Summer is almost here! Before your summer schedule gets busy with vacations, summer sports and other warm weather activities, I encourage you to think about ways you can reduce your waste this summer. Below are five easy ways to help you get started!

1.    Reduce fuel use: From my son’s swim team to my daughter’s ballet class, it seems like we’re always in in the car traveling to and from events. The fuel budget quickly begins to grow and the constant driving only increases air pollution. This summer we have committed to carpooling with friends or using public transportation. If the activities are close enough, biking will be another great method of transportation and is the perfect way to get a little exercise, while reducing fuel consumption!

2.    Waste-free events: Commit to hosting a waste-free summer BBQ or pool party. Have friends bring over a potluck dish, store leftovers in a reusable Ziploc® Brand Containers with the Smart Snap® Seal, use cloth napkins and skip the paper plates in favor of a nice set of outdoor-friendly, summer dishes.  

pencils3.    Leftover school supplies: When your kids get home on the last day of school, don’t just throw away their leftover school supplies. That bag of paper, broken crayons and other supplies can provide tons of opportunity for reuse! For example, old crayons can be melted down and turned into new crayons in fun shapes and the back of yesterday’s math homework can become scratch paper for grocery lists!

4.    Reduce home energy consumption: Eliminate wasteful energy habits this summer and you’ll reduce your family’s carbon footprint and save money. If you live in a moderate climate, skip the air conditioning and open windows for a cool breeze. For those of us that live in the hot desert, set your thermostat a few degrees higher and use ceiling fans only when the room is occupied.

5.    Step up recycling and composting measures: If you aren’t already recycling and composting everything you can, there’s no better time than now!  Does your family need some motivation?  Check out my post from last year, How to Get Your Children Involved in Recycling.

What is your favorite summertime waste-reduction tip?

Photo courtesy of Melissa Hincha-Ownby.

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