Posts tagged ‘summer’
It’s summer in the way deep south, which means we frequently reach into our refrigerators for cold beverages to help us keep our cool. Refrigerators are responsible for approximately 14 percent of a home’s energy use, more than any other kitchen or cleaning appliance. Making your fridge more energy efficient is one easy way to conserve our resources – and your money.
- Allow hot foods to cool before refrigerating or freezing.
- A new ENERGY STAR qualified refrigerator uses about 40 percent less energy than refrigerators sold in 2001.
- Set your refrigerator temperature to 37-40 degrees and your freezer temperature between 0-5 degrees. A refrigerator colder than necessary uses up to 25 percent more energy.
- Clean a refrigerator’s coils every six months. Dirty coils cause the refrigerator to use more energy. Brushing or vacuuming the coils can improve efficiency by as much as 30 percent.
- Keep a full refrigerator. Your appliance doesn’t have to work as hard to keep food cold.
- Check door seals to make sure they’re airtight. To test them, close the door on a dollar bill and try to pull it out. If the dollar slides out easily, you’re losing energy and money.
In conjunction with First Lady Ann Scott’s recent announcement of the Summer Literacy Adventure, the Florida Department of Education and the Florida Department of Environmental Protection are encouraging students to head outdoors with a book from DOE’s Just Read, Florida! 2011 Recommended Summer Reading List.
Reading, indoors or outdoors, no matter the season, engages the imagination of both children and adults. Reading is also a green activity.
Once produced, a book requires no additional resources to enhance its function. Books require no batteries, no chords, no chargers, no accessories, no electricity. Books do not require upgrades. Though sequels are sometimes produced, the original functions just fine without it.
Books require little maintenance. No fuel, oil, or hoses to refill, change or inspect.
Books are durable and can last under a bed for months, on a bookcase for decades, even centuries, and be just as functional as the day they were printed.
Books are easily shared. Books can be passed around to a multitude of friends and family members and still be read by yet another generation. Reading aloud is another green option for sharing a book with others, and doesn’t require downloading an app.
Books are portable. They fit easily into a beach bag, carry-on luggage, backpacks and pockets.
Reading is powered by the human mind, and during the long days of summer, reading light is provided by sunshine. The grass doesn’t get much greener.
Find more easy actions to stay cool and stay green this summer.
Can it get any hotter? Yes. It can. Fortunately, Florida residents and visitors can stay cool, stay green and take it easy this summer in one of Florida’s many cool locations.
The Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico are favorite Take it Easy choices on hot summer days. 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. Choose designated Clean Marinas, Boatyards and Retailers for boating needs to support more than 250 businesses statewide that implement practices that help keep our waterways clean and healthy. When planning your cruises, don’t forget to locate pumpout facilities along your route.
For those who prefer motorless transportation to cool clean fun, a multitude of paddling trails—including the Florida Circumnavigational Saltwater Paddling Trail and the Suwannee River Wilderness Trail—provide excellent “Take it Easy” venues. No matter where your outing takes you, bring trash and recyclables back to shore for proper disposal. Whether you prefer saltwater or fresh water adventures, paddle on. Canoes and kayaks are powered by human energy, a renewable resource.
Check tomorrow’s blog for more ways to stay cool, stay green and take it easy.
Learn more about the “Take it Easy” Twitter contest. View details here.
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?”
More than 630 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 222 Clean Marinas, 33 Clean Boatyards and 11 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.