10 Ways To Green Up Your Labor Day

Go GreenSummer is coming to an end (sniff sniff). Vacations have been enjoyed; visits with friends and family were memorable (or at least tolerable); and the kids are getting ready for another year of school. While we had a blast this summer helping our clients reduce energy, we’re always coming up with ways to help them think green, become green, and stay green. Energy reduction neither starts nor stops during the summer. It’s year-round; something that needs to be thought about and lived daily, and not just when it’s convenient. Only when it’s engrained into every fiber of our being will we see success instead of hopes and pipe dreams. Start by looking at each day with a green goal in mind, especially when it comes to holidays.

Labor Day 2014 is right around the corner, and we have a kick-ass list of ten ways for you to be green, and have fun, this holiday weekend! These are simple and effective strategies that give you the chance to become a hero for the earth.

I – Stay home! By enjoying the day at your home base and not driving across God’s creation, you save on gas; thus cutting down on emissions coming from your car and choking out what little good air we have left on this planet.

II – If you absolutely must travel, consider carpooling, riding a bike, or walking. The weather is still decent in most parts of the country at this time of year, so why not choose the healthy way and avoid revving up the engine of that 2012 Dodge Avenger?

III – Having a party? You need to let people know, but why send out expensive paper invites? Send a standard email, social media announcement, or use an e-vite service online. They’ll arrive quicker, and they avoid unnecessary paper being used. Be a tree hugger, not a tree killer.

IV – Choose to use natural gas, propane, or an electric grill instead of climate-killing charcoal or wood. Even still, do your best to cook food quickly so as to avoid too much gas or electricity being used.

V – When you’re done using the grill, proper cleaning is essential. But why use harsh chemicals from a spray bottle? Do you really want to taste the remnants of those the next time you lay down a burger? Instead, immediately scrub down the racks with a wire brush while the grill is still hot (the food particles will come off easier), or use a combination of a wet paper towel and baking soda.

VI – Use washable plates, glasses, and silverware. Sure, you’ll need to do some extra cleaning, but you’ll be doing the environment a favor. Choosing to use disposable and non-biodegradable items such as plastic (and especially Styrofoam) will make the environment scream, “I gave you this beautiful day and now as thanks, you’re choking the $&*@ out of me?!”

VII – If you’re hosting a party, have it outdoors and during daylight hours. Why bother setting up shop inside the house? Take advantage of what this earth has given us and use natural light. You’ll even save on your energy bills!

VIII – Use citronella candles, tiki torches, and battery operated lights to set the mood if your party extends into the evening. You can always use motion sensor lights in strategic locations for safety purposes, too.  Automatically turning on flood lights just because it’s getting dark is a waste of money and resources.

IX – Nothing irritates me more at a party than when guests don’t recycle. Therefore, when hosting, I set out separate cans for garbage and recyclables… and label the hell out of them. There’s nothing more satisfying than knowing that you have a bag full of aluminum cans, iced tea and water bottles, cardboard, or paper products ready to be cashed in or set at the curb for pickup. You’ll surely get the few stragglers (a bottle or two in the garbage, or worse, a plate of discarded dip or noodles slathered in the recycling), but it’s better than knowing you’re going straight to Hell for not even trying.

X – Finally, if you’re not the party type, or find yourself having extra time and don’t know what to do with it, consider adding an eco-friendly home energy project to your weekend. Many of these aren’t expensive or time-consuming, but will save money and time down the road when you really are busy or low on cash.

Saving the earth from everyday abuses doesn’t take a lot of effort, but surely a little thought. We all need to do our part to ensure that future generations will enjoy this planet as much as we do. Try these pointers out, and let us know in the comments below how they worked. From everyone at YourEnergyBlog, enjoy your Labor Day (and your weekend)!

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