In the guide below, we list and explain different sustainability tips for specifically for summer, and the hotter months of the year.
We include tips relating to how to keep cool, in addition to other tips related to summer specific activities and requirements.
These tips might complement more generalized tips for living sustainably.
1. Consider Using ‘Sustainable’ Or ‘Eco Friendly’ Sunscreen Products
For those who use sunscreen products when going outside, they may consider ‘sustainable’ or ‘eco friendly’ sunscreens.
These sunscreen products generally have one or several sustainability features, such as being ‘reef safe’, ‘zero waste’, ‘plastic free’, or something else.
Although, users have to weight up these features against other requirements of sunscreen products, such as being safe for the user’s skin, and also meeting performance requirements for sun protection, being waterproof, and so on.
2. Consider Buying ‘Sustainable’ Summer Clothes
Examples of this might involve buying sustainably made or pre-worn summer clothes, like shorts, shirts, dresses, and so on.
3. Consider Using More ‘Sustainable’ Energy At Home
The type of energy that a household or building uses has a sustainability footprint.
Using ‘greener’ energy sources may improve sustainability
For a regular household, there may be two main options:
1. Use a ‘sustainable’ energy supplier
i.e. one who uses ‘sustainable’ energy sources for electricity generation over less sustainable sources of electricity
2. Install a renewable energy setup at home
This obviously depends on other factors like practicality, and of course cost
If it’s going to be too expensive to install a renewable energy setup at home, there won’t be a reasonable return on the setup, or the return on the install cost will take too long, it may be worth it
But, some installs may be worth it when taking into account factors like install cost (including any miscellaneous costs like batteries and energy storage), any grants or schemes that pay a % of install fees, the time taken to break even on the install cost, money saved on electricity, and any credits for feeding power back into the grid
Obviously, in summer months when the sun is out, solar energy setups may be very practical and make a lot of sense for some households and buildings
This might especially be the case in countries and regions with typically warmer weather, and more sun exposure
4. Use A Floor Fan For Cooling Where Practical
Where practical, using a floor fan for cooling over a larger home AC system (like ducted AC systems) can save electricity, whilst being similarly effective at providing cooling (at least to one person or one room
Additionally, other than fans, there may be a range of other more energy efficient or more sustainable cooling devices and systems to consider for cooling the home in the hotter months.
5. Use Energy Efficient Cooling Devices & Systems
Some cooling devices like floor fans, and cooling systems like home AC systems, are designed to be energy efficient.
When purchasing these devices and systems, you can usually look an the energy rating (or energy efficiency rating with stars), or read the product description to see if energy efficient features are incorporated into the design and construction of the device or system.
Some models from different brands also tell you how much electricity they use.
6. Use Cooling Devices & Systems In A Sustainable Way
There’s other things users can do whilst operating cooling devices and systems to increase sustainability.
Some of these things might include:
– Using these devices only when they are home, or when they need to use them (instead of leaving them running)
– Making use of features like different settings, timers (especially when going to bed or leaving the home), and so on
– Using home AC systems in only the rooms that are being occupied
7. Reduce Heat Getting Into The Home, & Allowing Cool Air In When Possible
Ways to do this might include:
– Covering glass, windows, and doors with blinds, curtains and other coverings during the day when the sun is up
– Keeping doors and windows shut during the day to limit heat
– Windows may be opened if there is a cool change at night to allow in cool air
8. Be Sustainable With Watering Of Outdoor Plants, Gardens, Lawns & Outdoor Areas
Several ways to do this outdoors, particularly in areas that aren’t in shade and are exposed to the sun, might be:
– Following local laws and regulations on outdoor water use
– Watering when the sun goes down to reduce evaporation
– Using water efficient sprinkler and watering systems, and fixing leaks in hoses and sprinklers
9. Consider The Sustainability Impact Of Some Home Pools
Some home pools use energy for pumps and filters, cleaning, and other uses
Using a blow up pool, going to the beach, or utilizing short cold showers may be a more sustainable in some ways (although, admittedly, some of these options may not be practical)
10. Consider Foods That Are In Season Locally During Summer Months
Local foods may help save on some transport and storage requirements.
So, considering adding some of them to a weekly diet (as long as it’s safe/healthy to do so), may be more sustainable.
This is region specific though, so you will have to research what foods are in season in your area (locally) during these months.
11. Consider Energy Efficient, & Sustainable Housing & Building Designs & Systems
Admittedly, this might only be an option for those building a new home, or those in a position to renovate their home.
But, there’s various housing and building design features and systems that can help save energy, be more energy efficient, help manage heat and cooling, and so on.
Building siting and orientation, materials used, insulation used, and other features can all help buildings be more sustainable.
We discuss various important aspects of sustainable housing and building in this guide, and some of the potential pros and cons in this one.
Sustainability Tips For Other Seasons
We’ve put together guides outlining potential tips for other seasons in the year too:
– Sustainability Tips For Fall/Autumn
– Sustainability Tips For Winter
– Sustainability Tips For Spring
1. Various ‘Better Meets Reality’ guides