Green Tips: Taking Advantage of the Longer Daylight Hours This Spring

Green Tips | April 5, 2019

Spring has arrived, and with it, more hours of sunlight. Soon we will see warmer temperatures, grass becoming greener, and birds migrating north. As the season changes, we may begin to think about spending more time outdoors. A University of Michigan study found that spending 30 minutes or more outside in spring weather was linked to better mood and memory.

We hope you will take advantage of the changing season while remaining mindful about our environment. Here are some tips to make your spring activities even greener:

Keep the light off. With more sunlight, you can use indoor lighting less, which has an impact on energy use. A recent study by the Department of Energy found that there was a decrease in 1.3 billion kilowatt hours in spring, or enough to run a dishwasher in every house in the US for over a week. Learn more here about how the direction of your windows can impact your lighting without overheating your home.

Read a book outside: Reading by natural light is a nice change from reading under that indoor lamp. You’ll also be cutting back on your electricity usage.

Walk, run or hike after work: With more light into the evening hours, you can spend time outside after work. Go for a walk or jog in your favorite park, take a bike ride, or head to your local playground. Being active and enjoying nature is good for your physical health too.

Take dinner outside: Have a picnic in the park or cook on the grill outside with friends or family. Remember to avoid disposable cookware whenever possible, and always take your trash with you.

Hang-dry your laundry. Let the sun work its magic, and revert to your dryer only on rainy days. Air-drying clothes, bedding, and towels can reduce the average household’s carbon footprint by 2,400 pounds a year and saves money on your utility bill. Read more about greening your laundry routine here.

Open the windows: Ventilating interior rooms with fresh air can remove indoor pollutants, like fumes from cleaning products and gas stoves, building materials, and tobacco smoke.

Start your own garden: Spring is the perfect time to plan your vegetable or herb garden. Growing your own vegetables promotes a healthy and sustainable lifestyle and avoids unwanted chemicals that can be used to grow vegetables typically sold in grocery stores. Plant seasonal vegetables such as lettuce, peas, and broccoli. Growing your own food also means less trips to the grocery store, good for the planet and your wallet.

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