During colder seasons, people usually sacrifice sustainability in order to live in a cozy, comfortable, well-heated environment. Summer months on the other hand give ample opportunity for responsible energy usage, and yet far too often we end up consuming more power than needed due to habit, negligence, and being uninformed.
Fortunately, with the abundance of heat and sunlight during summertime, saving energy is much more manageable than during other seasons. With a little bit of creativity and effort, you too can reap the benefits of lower electricity bills, a sustainable relationship with the environment, and even healthier living. If you don’t have the time to figure things out on your own, please check out our guide on sustainable energy consumption during hot summer days.
The main culprit when it comes to energy use during summer is an air conditioner. It is easy to give in to the temptation to keep it running throughout the day, but this attitude can incur significant costs down the line. Getting blasted with cool air all the time is not healthy, and the temperature difference you get to experience between whenever you go outside is not pleasant either. Instead of keeping the AC running, consider installing a ceiling fan. They are cheap to buy and maintain, and they make the room temperature feel a couple of degrees lower, close enough for comfort during summer.
Another alternative to keeping the AC on all the time is providing adequate shade for your living space. Sunlight is the main source of heat during summer, so keeping it out of your living quarters can bring room temperature to manageable levels. Various kinds of window curtains are available on the market to match your needs for shade. If you live in a house, setting up awnings above your windows and doorways can substantially decrease the amount of light that enters your home.
Next in the line of energy hogs is the dryer. The convenience of just throwing your clothes in a dryer cannot be understated, but summertime temperatures can do the job equally well, and for free. Put your clothes on a dryer stand for a couple of hours, or let them hang on a balcony under the sun. In terms of wear and tear, letting clothes dry naturally is the preferred option as well.
Cooking can require a lot of energy, especially when making dishes in the oven. Even cooking on the stove can produce enough heat to make your kitchen feel uncomfortable. Instead, try using the microwave to quickly heat-up your dishes. Alternatively, try eschewing cooking all-together, and make a healthy meal out of raw ingredients. A light salad with seasonal fruit and vegetables is especially refreshing during summer, and it’s good for your health to boot.
Sustainable energy consumption doesn’t just mean using less energy – it can also include using the right kind. If you live in a particularly sunny part of the world, putting a couple of solar panels on the roof can provide a clean, efficient source of electrical energy. They take some effort to set up, and it may take a while for them pay for themselves, but in the long run, they are your best bet for sustainable, environment-friendly living.
We usually need less lighting during summer due to longer daytime hours, but going the extra mile by installing energy-efficient light-bulbs in your home can reduce expenses even further. Fluorescent light consume less energy and are more luminous, making them perfect for use during summer. If you want to upgrade further, LED are the next logical step. They significantly more energy efficient than even the best fluorescent lamps, and their share in the marketplace is scheduled to grow in the years to come.
One energy-saving measure we are naturally inclined to take during summer is taking colder showers. The warmer weather drives us to find ways of cooling off, and cold running water is the perfect solution. The upside to this is that we are spending less on heating and electricity, as we don’t have to keep the bathroom warm and the boiler filled with hot water.
The fact of the matter is, while you are spending time inside of your home, your are consuming a lot of energy. Then, the best way to reduce consumption would be to spend more time outside. Luckily, summer is the perfect time of year to have a taste of open air. There are plenty of leisure activities outside that don’t require fuel or electricity, and you can hardly get more sustainable than that. However, even everyday activities such as drying clothes or cooking are more energy efficient when they are done outside.