Dallas Zoo’s Green Team tip for July is a double whammy! Caring for the environment can also mean caring for your bank account. Here’s our advice for living green while saving green this sizzling hot summer.
- Water your lawn during the most efficient times: To waste less water AND get the most bang for your buck, water your lawn early in the morning or late in the evening. Water evaporates quicker during the warmest hours of the day (around 3:00 p.m. is the peak temperature), so avoid turning the sprinklers on mid-afternoon! Waste when it’s darker out and the temperature is lower!
- Cut down on the AC: Say what?! Use less AC in the summer in Texas? It may seem crazy with such high heat and humidity, but being conscientious about AC usage can reduce energy usage and lower your monthly bill. Try using a fan instead of air conditioning, especially when you’re doing sedentary activities like watching TV. Close doors to rooms without vents that don’t need to be cooled, like closets and bathrooms. Also, make sure you keep your air filter clean! When your air filter is dirty, your AC has to work much harder, wasting energy and your money.
- Grow your own food: Seeds are inexpensive and yield plenty of fruits and vegetables, saving lots of money in the long run! Growing your own produce also reduces your carbon footprint because the food travels a significantly smaller distance to get to your plate. Produce at the grocery store can travel thousands of miles before reaching its final destination – that’s a lot of gas! Growing your own produce can also mean preventing harmful pesticides from entering the environment. You can also make your yard more attractive and functional by turning any wasted space into a garden or planting a tall fruit tree for shade. And if you read our last Green Tip blog on composting, you know that when you finish with those banana peels or apple cores, they can go straight to your compost, which goes into your garden!
- Use less gas: To save on gas and time, try to combine your errands so you aren’t doing more driving than necessary. Also, use regular gas unless your car requires premium. And if at all possible, walk or bike to your destination! It gets hot here in Texas, but if you can take the heat, walking or biking is a great way to save money and produce fewer emissions.
- Refillable water bottles: It’s important to stay hydrated, especially in warm climates or during summer activities. Something as simple as using a refillable water bottle is a great way to save you money and use less plastic. Disposable plastic bottles often end up in the landfills or littering our environment, but by purchasing a refillable bottle for every member of your family, you can save a ton of money! Additionally, disposable plastic bottle production releases toxins and burns fossil fuels. Staying hydrated, keeping the environment clean, and saving money is a no-brainer with refillable water bottles.
Learn more about Dallas Zoo’s Green Team and how you can help!
In Texas, if you tell someone you haven’t turned on your A/C yet for the summer (because it hasn’t hit 95 outdoors yet), friends and co-workers will look at you like you’re crazy, and family will try to offer to pay your electric bill!
To avoid social stigma (and have guests regularly come to your house), if you’re going to run your A/C, definitely take the time to maintain your unit! Regular maintenance can save you a lot of money over the long run – not only will your unit perform more efficiently, but it will serve you well for many more years than a unit that is neglected.
Thanks for sharing the tips! I’m glad that there are ways to save money as well as be environmentally friendly. I’ll have to give these a try.