Easy Actions for Summer Vacationers
Memorial Day kicks off summer and summer is vacation time. Time to pack up, head out, cook out, sleep in or stay home and lounge about. But mostly, summertime is about staying cool. Fortunately, finding ways to stay cool and still stay green is easy.
Call 511 to avoid traffic jams due to construction or accidents. Idling gets ZERO miles per gallon. For every two minutes a car is idling, it uses about the same amount of fuel, it takes to travel one mile. Besides being annoying, traffic jams potentially increase the number of times you hear, “Are we there yet?”
Our 680 green lodging options, including cabins in several state parks, provide sleep over accommodations throughout Florida. Designated Green Lodging facilities implement sustainable practices in several areas of operations: communication and education about sustainability to their employees and guests, waste reduction, reuse and recycling, water conservation, energy efficiency, indoor air quality and transportation. While you’re there, don’t forget to turn out the lights when you leave your room.
Summertime crops are ripe. Tomatoes, cucumbers, summer squash, corn, butterbeans, peaches, peppers, blackberries or honeydews make tasty additions to any meal. According to the National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service, produce travels more than 1,500 miles before it gets to your table. Shop at a nearby farmers market for the best taste of the season and to reduce fuel waste and emissions from long-distance shipping.
While you’re catching summer sales—in the market or in the mall—don’t forget to take reusable bags for your purchases.
Barbecues are another way to keep heat out of the kitchen and your A/C from working overtime. Skewer fresh local veggies to grill along with your favorite meat or seafood for a tasty meal that’s healthy for you and for the environment.
Boating is another cool summer activity. An ocean, a gulf, bays, lakes, rivers and streams provide endless opportunities to catch a breeze. Florida’s one million registered boats provide one million opportunities for boaters to protect water quality and the quality of our aquatic lifestyle, both at the dock and on the water. Bring trash and recyclables back to the dock for proper disposal. Florida’s 242 Clean Marinas, 37 Clean Boatyards and 15 Clean Marine Retailers make it easy. And, please, use pumpouts. Tonight’s seafood platter comes from the waters we sail today.
While you’re casting for the catch of the day, don’t forget to reel in and properly dispose of that tangled mess that started out as fishing line. The fine art of knotting doesn’t belong it the water. Many public fishing spots, the fishing platforms along the Florida Keys Overseas Heritage Trail for example, provide receptacles for monofilament gone awry. If you’re fishing from a boat, bring your tangled webs back to the dock for proper disposal.
Pack a waste-free picnic and head to your favorite swimming hole, shady green space or back yard for some cool-down down time. Pack food in reusable containers. Take along reusable plates, cups, cutlery and cloth napkins.
Save money and reduce waste with a smarter water. Instead of buying bottled or canned beverages, punch up a pitcher of water with berries, mango or watermelon slices for flavor and nutrition.