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10 tips for a sustainable summer

With summer just around the corner, it's the perfect time to embrace sustainable habits and make a positive impact on the environment. Simple changes to our daily routines can let us enjoy the season while minimizing our ecological footprint.  

Here are 10 tips to have a fun, eco-friendly summer. 

  1. Conserve water. Water conservation is crucial, especially during the summer months when usage tends to spike. Take shorter showers, fix leaks promptly and consider collecting rainwater for garden irrigation.  
  2. Harness natural ventilation. Instead of relying heavily on air conditioning, take advantage of natural ventilation techniques to keep your home cool. Open windows during cooler evenings to let in fresh air, use fans to circulate it and keep curtains or blinds closed during the day to minimize heat gain.  
  3. Switch to energy-efficient lighting. Make the most of longer daylight hours by using natural light whenever possible. When artificial lighting is necessary, switch to energy-efficient LED bulbs that consume less energy and have a longer lifespan.  
  4. Reduce, reuse and recycle. Summer brings more outdoor activities and events, leading to increased use of disposable items. Consider ways to minimize your impact. Use reusable water bottles, cutlery and containers for picnics and barbecues. If you must use disposable items, choose compostable or biodegradable options. Be sure to properly separate waste and recycling.  
  5. Choose sustainable transportation. Take advantage of the pleasant weather to embrace sustainable transportation options. Walking, biking, using public transport and carpooling reduces your reliance on fossil fuels and contributes to cleaner air and a healthier planet. 
  6. Support local and seasonal. Support local farmers and reduce your carbon footprint by shopping at farmers markets or taking part in community-supported agriculture programs. Choose seasonal and organic produce, which often requires fewer resources for production and tastes better.  
  7. Practice responsible tourism. If you travel, be a responsible tourist. Choose accommodations with sustainability initiatives in place, respect the natural surroundings and dispose of waste properly. Conserve water and energy during your stay and support local businesses that prioritize sustainability. 
  8. Embrace natural skincare. Conventional sunscreens are often made of harmful chemicals that can damage marine life and ecosystems. Reef-safe or mineral-based sunscreens use ingredients like zinc oxide or titanium dioxide and are safer for the environment.  
  9. Conserve energy outdoors. Transform your backyard into a sustainable oasis. Plant native species that require less water and maintenance, set up compost bins to recycle organic waste and use outdoor solar lights for energy-efficient illumination. 
  10. Spread awareness. Share your passion for sustainability with others. Organize events, share tips on social media or take part in local environmental initiatives.  

Grant Barton is a Communications Partner with a passion for sustainability and eco-friendly city planning. He has a diverse background in engineering, politics and international communications and hopes to apply this experience when writing and breaking down complex topics related to Alliant Energy's Clean Energy Future plans.

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