Budget-Friendly Tips for a Greener Summer: Our Staff Picks
Between constantly-running air conditioning units and lots of travel, summer is often the least-sustainable season across the country. Add to that the fact that ATRS offices are typically located in warm cities and there is the potential for our employees to have an increasingly-large footprint between June and September. So how do we stay sustainable during the heat and humidity? Read some Green Summer Tips from our eco-pros:
1. Share Your Wares
Michael Weber, Chief Financial Officer – Houston
Gardening throughout the spring and summer is a growing trend, especially in warmer climates, and Mike takes full advantage of his Houston home. Everyone benefits from his gardening, as he shares his wares with the whole Houston office! Mike keeps all aspects of his garden organic, even down to the soil (cow manure self-proclaimed as “#1 in the Number Two Business”), and says the delicious array of veggies is worth every minute of hard work put in. “I usually water the garden every morning at 6:30 a.m. and pick a few fresh veggies to share around the office. Nothing tastes better than vine-ripened tomatoes!”
The Takeaway: Save money and simultaneously cheer up your coworkers simply by starting a city garden in your own backyard. Plus, your body will thank you for that increased consumption of veggies.
2. Don’t Sweat the Chemicals
Julie Henry, Community Relations Advocate – Oklahoma
From BBQs and cookouts to just spending more time outdoors, summer is a prime season for dirty clothes. Unfortunately, store-bought detergents are riddled with chemicals (and they’re expensive, too). So what’s Julie’s fix? This recipe for homemade detergent, which has been tweaked over the years and works perfectly in HE washers! “Imagine how much money you spend on 5 gallons of laundry soap. I usually use 1 to 2 capfuls per load, so the 5 gallon bucket will last me several months…for $2.35.”
The Takeaway: Say goodbye to chemical-ridden products with this DIY detergent can save you major dollars this summer. The time spent is miniscule compared to the long-lasting result.
3. Pedal to a Greener Lifestyle
Audrey Masson, Marketing Intern – Southern California
Since beginning her summer internship with ATRS, Audrey has contributed many green inspirations to our SoCal office. One of our favorites is her dedication to biking to work on a daily basis! “I was not a big fan of biking before, but I discovered some great benefits doing it. I can enjoy a sunny ride every morning that helps me start my day on the right foot, and it helped me get beach-ready for summer! Biking is a great workout.”
The Takeaway: Through bypassing a car commute, you can make fewer gas station trips & get daily exercise while doing your part to save the planet. If biking isn’t a feasible option for you, carpooling and using public transportation are excellent alternatives to individual commuting.
4. Reduce & Reuse While You Re-Hydrate
Sarah DeCarlo, Digital Media Coordinator – Houston
Reducing waste in the summer is a challenge, especially when the whole family is guzzling down additional fluids to stay hydrated. But Sarah easily combats an overflowing garbage can of plastic or glass bottles by instead using refillable cups! The initial cost is quickly offset once you stop purchasing individual water or juice bottles. Sarah even opted for insulated versions that keep her summer refreshments colder longer. “I especially love bringing my reusable iced coffee cup to Starbucks, because many times they’ll charge me for a tall but fill it up all the way. It’s a great way to get an extra caffeine boost without the added cost!”
The Takeaway: Substituting reusable drinkware for disposable bottles makes your daily footprint smaller while increasing your budget. Do this for the whole family and watch the green impact grow.
5. Can’t Stand the Heat? Get Out of the Kitchen
Debra Stevenson-Peganyee, Chief Marketing Officer – Houston
No one likes to cook in the summer heat, especially after a long day at work. Debra’s solution is to consolidate food prep to one day, preferably on the weekend, and think like a food network chef. She prepares ingredients like steamed veggies, grilled meats and boiled eggs, then stores them neatly in the fridge in deli-style containers. “Weekday meals like no-bake pizza or lettuce tacos are a snap. These are family faves in my home: just fill or top with precooked ingredients and serve!”
The Takeaway: Bulk cooking on one day saves time during the week, minimizes your fuel usage and keeps you and your kitchen cooler. Plus you just may discover new, healthier recipes in the process.
In addition to making small changes like the examples above, reducing waste is a necessary part of adopting a greener lifestyle. You can start today simply by cleaning out your closet and making a trip to your nearest ATRS recycler, just like our featured employees above! Do you have another easy summer eco-tip to share? Let us know on Facebook or Twitter using hashtag #greenertomorrow.