Monday, June 22, 2015

"Green" Your Household with Summer Family Activities

For many families, summertime means warm weather trips to the beach, cool camping trips and fun weekend getaways. Now that it's June, are your kids engaged in a variety of summertime camps, outdoor sports activities and educational enrichment opportunities? Do you have enough action-packed plans to keep the kids busy until Labor Day?

If you worry about running out of engaging activities that will keep your kids busy until it’s back to school time, The Energy Experts are here with another idea. How about running a Do-It Yourself Eco-Friendly Family Camp this summer? Try using some of The Energy Experts’ healthy, conservation-minded activities to recharge your regular family routine with some new "green" additions.  As you make those much-appreciated contributions to saving the planet, you might even save a few dollars to spend on something fun for your family.

Here are a few summertime “green” suggestions for your family:

Pack an Eco-Friendly Lunch: If lunch is for the office or the kids’ summer camp, prioritize healthy choices with plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables. You can save time in the morning by packing left-overs in the lunchbox right after dinner the night before. Put it in the refrigerator and it’s ready to go the next morning. Consider making extra amounts of food on Sunday to cover lunch for a few days. Also, when packing that well-balanced lunch, remember to use a reusable container and forget about plastic wrappers and bags.

Hike or Bike: Enjoy the summer weather by walking or biking to your destination. Save gas, cut back on greenhouse pollution and get your exercise outside of the gym. Often the indoor air quality at the local gym is less than great. It’s summer, enjoy time outdoors but use common sense in regards to heat and protection from the sun and be sure to stay hydrated.

Pull the Plug: Before you head off on your vacation or even a weekend getaway, don’t just turn off your electronics, unplug those energy-draining “vampire” devices. These devices are called vampires because they suck energy even when they aren’t in use. Electronic devices such as TV’s, computers and video games can draw a surprising amount of energy with their stand-by functions. Power adapters are another culprit. Don’t forget to pull the plug on these vampires when you leave for vacation.

Dressing for Summer Success: Wearing the appropriate clothing is important not only in the winter, but also in the summer. Don’t get a reputation for being one of those energy hogs who sits around the house in shorts and turns on the furnace if they get a chill. Put on a sweatshirt if you feel cold. Dress appropriately for the outdoor summer heat by wearing loose-fitting cotton clothing in light colors. In the hot summer sun, sometimes a bit of coverage is better and don’t forget the sunscreen.

Trash Talking: Get the entire family in the mindset of Reduce, Reuse and Recycle. The three “R’s” are really important and a key element in keeping your home "green." Teach your children the importance of recycling at a young age. Create a home recycling system and label the location for paper, plastic and glass. If your community doesn’t have curbside recycling service, look online for recycling information in your area.

Lights Out: If it’s morning, noon or night, don’t leave lights on if you are the last one to leave the room. If the light isn’t being used, turn it off. The “lights out” policy goes for your home, the office or even camp. Additionally, if you are still using those old-school incandescent bulbs, consider making a clean sweep through your home and replacing those wasteful bulbs with CFLs. Make it a game with your kids – let’s see who can locate the most incandescent bulbs and the family can switch them out. More energy and money will be saved!

The Energy Experts
Each month The Energy Experts present a Blog that shares helpful information on a wide-range of topics that involve the intersection of home and health. Are you concerned about energy savings, indoor air quality, home comfort and family health issues? Then check in with The Energy Experts each month for more valuable information on these important topics.