Keep Summer Beautiful!
Every year, Americans generate 251.3 million tons of garbage. Waste reduction and recycling conserves natural resources, reduces the need for landfills, and prevents pollution. Placing an emphasis on the types of products we buy in addition to how we dispose of them is an important step in sustaining the environment. Waste minimization, creating less waste by buying recycled, recyclable, or reusable products, as well as recycling and composting, reduces the amount of material sent to a landfill. Communities, using a combination of these processes, reduced the municipal solid waste landfilled from 56.2 percent in 2000 to 55.4 percent in 2003.
Community beautification makes communities safer and more enjoyable to live in. When citizens unite, they transform public spaces and create deeper connections to their community. Beautifying public spaces helps raise property values, reduce crime and improve public health. Enhancing community beauty can be achieved through graffiti removal, creating community gardens, and litter cleanup.
Try these tips to help keep the spirit of summer alive and beautiful!
- Plants love leftovers: returned from a trip with half-full water bottles? Spill them into your plants.
- Pool fun: instead of filling your kids' pool with hundreds of liters of water, suggest that their toys would like to swim instead. Fill a laundry tub or bucket with water, gather their dolls, toy animals or play figures and let the “pool party begin”. Or add some liquid soap and they can wash their dolls' clothes too. They’ll get just as wet as in the pool, using a lot less water.
- Shade down: lowering shades in the morning will keep the house cooler for the rest of the day.
- Solar powered clothes dryer: take advantage of the sun and save electricity and cash by line-hanging laundry rather than running through the dryer.
- Fill up the freezer: here’s a great reason to stock up on frozen treats: a full freezer uses less electricity than a half-empty one.
- Gourmet frozen: make your own healthy freeze pops by blending fresh summer fruit (peaches, apricots, melon, bananas) with a little sweetener (apple concentrate or honey) and pouring into ice-pop molds. A great way to use up bruised fruit.
- Twilight walks: take advantage of the evening cool to take a walk.
- Harness the wind: summer is the perfect time to introduce kids to the age-old joys of kite-flying. Make or buy one for a couple of dollars, take them to a park, beach ,or open space in the late afternoon when the wind is at its strongest, and enjoy the kite and the view.
- Ban the bugs: for a natural bug repellant, try dabbing citronella or eucalyptus oil near the windows.
- Bag it: bring an extra trash bag with you when you go to the park or hike in a beauty spot so you can pick up your own trash and maybe even some that other people left behind.