Go Summer Green
Summer is officially here; it’s time to bring out the barbecue and other festivities to beat the heat. As the temperature rises, an increased amount of ground-level ozone is in the atmosphere because of pollutants reacting to the summertime sunlight. Ground level ozone is extremely dangerous to those with and without respiratory health problems. Some symptoms include asthma attacks, shortness of breath, coughing, etc. With that in mind, this summer, try to practice some environmentally friendly habits to reduce the amount of pollution in the North Texas atmosphere. Here are some ways that you can go green this summer:
Try to use less A/C if you can. In the hot summer days, it is very tempting to turn down the A/C but try to turn it up whenever you aren't at home. If you can, invest in a programmable thermostat because it learns your heating and cooling patterns and automatically turns up the A/C whenever you aren't at home. Another way to keep your house cool is by closing your blinds or curtains to trap the heat outside. Your ceiling fan is another great tool to keep cool because it provides evaporative cooling and improves air flow in the room. Just don’t forget to turn it off when no one is home to save energy!
Go outdoors. Sometimes a way to escape the heat is to get out of the house. Visit local nature parks to get a whiff of fresh air. Check out your local farmers market for some fresh produce. This will reduce the use of fossil fuel, because the produce won’t have to travel thousands of miles to get to your grocery store.
Have a stay-cation. Instead of traveling far this summer, try going somewhere more local. Check your city website or social media pages to learn more about events or activities happening just around the corner. Consider taking a day “trip” by walking or biking to your neighborhood park with your friends or family. Inviting your friends and family will not only be more fun, but it will also reduce the amount of emission released into the ozone.
Throw a green BBQ. Look into natural charcoal products or ones that are made with 100 percent hardwood and contain no coal, limestone or petroleum products. Ditch the disposable plates and silverware and consider trying reusable ones. If you must use disposables, consider buying ones that are natural and compostable. Swap out your regular burger for a vegetable one or spice up your barbecue with a veggie skewer. Here are some neat recipes for your next barbecue.
Be more energy efficient. Whenever you can, try to power down or unplug any electronics that you aren't using. Computers and TV’s generate excess heat, so you will also be able to save money and feel cooler at the same time. Try to switch up your light bulbs to CFLs (compact fluorescent lamps) or LED bulbs. These bulbs are inexpensive and last longer than traditional bulbs. Light is created by heating up a filament in traditional incandescent light bulbs, which is why they produce more heat and are less energy efficient compared to CFLs and LED.
By incorporating these tips into your everyday, you will help improve air quality and still have a great summer!