Save Money – and Resources- this Summer!

Now that summer is here and the heat is on, take some steps to help conserve the earth’s resources- and your pocketbook.

1. When you mow the lawn, choose to leave the clippings behind.  They will generally sink to the soil level within a few days and as the clippings decay, they fertilize the soil and help keep the soil moist.

2. As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, now’s the time to start hanging clothes on the line – if you have one.  If you don’t, it’s very simple to hang one up – we used large eye screws and Boy Scout knots to make a double decker line.  We probably saved about $20 a month in electricity last summer.  This summer, I expect we’ll save more, since we’ve added a member to our family!

3. If you must water your grass, water in the early morning or evenings when it’s cooler- you lose a lot of water to evaporation from the heat.  Better yet, start changing your yard to suit your climate.  My husband spent a lot of time nurturing the lawn at our house in coastal North Carolina years ago, and it never did well.  It wasn’t suitable for the climate, and we used a lot of water to keep it alive!

4. Plant deciduous trees on the south and west side of your house.  As they grow, the leaves will shade the house in the summer and in the winter, the leafless tress will allow the warmth of the sun to warm your house.

5. Forego air conditioning.  Now, I lived in North Carolina long enough to know that sometimes this just isn’t possible!  But I also know that it was hard to be outside at all in summer because I’d be so accustomed to the air conditioned 73 degree temperature that 90 seemed like an oven!  So when you can, try to allow your body to become accustomed to the temperature outside and open the windows.  Turn on the fan.  Drink a glass of cold water.  Not only does it save on your electricity bill, it’s better for your body to not have the shock when the air temperature drops 20 degrees in a second!

What are some other ideas for conserving resources and saving money this summer?


One response to this post.

  1. Posted by Jen on July 4, 2009 at 1:51 am

    Hey, this all sounds like the stuff my Environmental Studies Class are talking about. Here’s another few ideas (not all necessarily to do with the yard…):

    1) If you want to water your lawn, consider using rain barrels. Rain barrels help to divert rain water during really wet times into barrels to be stored for dry weeks. That rain water is great for watering gardens and the lawn without using well / city water. It also helps limit runoff going into rivers, which during the spring can be a big issue (at least in MN)– flooding for part of the season and drought for the other part, not fun!

    2)When possible, try to bike / walk places in the summer. While that might not be possible for everyone (like when you live 20 minutes from your Walmart!) for people who live in towns or cities, driving is more of a convenience than necessity- especially in the summer! Obviously if you expect to have a car full of groceries, walking might not be the best idea!!

    3)plant a veggie garden! If you don’t have a lot of yard, I know tomatoes can be grown in pots on a deck! Fresh veggies from your own garden are the greatest, and can be canned for use later (be careful, not all veggies are can-able)

    4) buy in bulk when possible- not necessarily bulk QUANTITY (like when you shop at Sam’s or costco) but a lot of times food co-ops and smaller markets have bulk spices, flours, grains, peanut butter, etc. that they sell by the pound / oz. When you buy the smaller quantities and use re-usable containers, you’re saving SO much packaging from going in the trash. Not to mention the cost is usually the same if not better!

    5) Use Cloth items from wee essentials of course! Cloth wipes and personal items save so much plastic from going into landfills!


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