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Summer

Trips and Vacations

Quick Tips:

  • When making reservations at campgrounds, ask about their recycling facilities.
  • Book flights with airlines that offer electronic tickets to reduce paper waste.
  • Before you leave home, adjust the air conditioning and water heater thermostats to conserve energy.
  • When visiting beaches and parks, be sure to take out everything you bring in, so that you leave places unlittered and undisturbed.
  • At the beach, use old buckets and other items in your house to build sand castles instead of buying new products at the store.
  • When you leave your hotel room, switch off the air conditioning, lights, and TV to reduce energy use.
  • To pass the time on long drives or rainy vacation days, bring scrap paper for drawing and games.
  • Hot summer days require gallons of thirst quenchers. Be sure to recycle the used beverage containers. Consider putting a filter on your water tap and refilling bottles with the filtered water. Instead of buying many small drink bottles, buy drinks or drink mixes in bulk and fill reusable bottles.

Organize Events

Quick Tips:

  • Summer is a popular time for barbeques and other outdoor festivities. At your next party, set the picnic table with reusable dinnerware or ask people to bring their own reusable plates and containers. And remember to recycle all bottles and cans after the party!
  • Spend your free time volunteering at a local park or helping out with environmental cleanups.
  • Offer to donate items to schools and local charities. Many are interested in notepads, toys, dishes, sweaters and coats, books, pencils, board games, posters, and holiday decorations.
  • Organize a recycling drive in your neighborhood. Collect bottles, glass, plastic, and newspapers and take them to your local recycling center.

Get Ready for School

Quick Tips:

  • Before starting a new school year, sort through your materials. Many supplies can be reused or recycled. Notebooks, folders, and binders can be reused. Recycle unwanted papers and reuse your old folders and binders. Share your used books with friends, relatives, or younger schoolchildren.
  • Make locker decorations out of old CDs. Decorate them with paint, stickers, rhinestones, or photos; stick magnetic tape to the back; and they're ready to spruce up your locker!
  • Many schools reuse text books to save money and reduce waste. Covering your textbooks with cut-up grocery or shopping bags helps reduce waste and keeps your books in good condition. Be creative-use markers or colored pencils to give your covers unique and fun designs. Paper grocery bags are also great for wrapping packages.

At Home & in the Garden

Quick Tips:

  • Raise the cutting height of your lawn mower during the hot summer months to keep grass roots shaded and cooler, reducing weed growth, browning, and the need for watering. When you mow, "grasscycle" by leaving grass clippings on your lawn instead of bagging them or use a mulching mower. The clippings will return nutrients to the soil instead of taking up space in landfills.
  • If you have a need for large lawn and garden equipment, such as tillers or chainsaws, you can reduce waste (and save money) by renting or borrowing the equipment.
  • Have a yard sale to find new homes for clothes, toys, appliances, books, and other items.
  • Check with local repair shops to see if they can use your old appliances for spare parts.
  • Clean and properly store tools, toys, and outdoor furniture to protect them from damage, allowing you to keep them longer instead of sending them to the landfill.
  • If you have a tile roof, check it thoroughly for cracks or missing tiles and use roofing made from recycled rubber or plastic to make repairs.

Photo of seashell on a sandy beach in the rising tide


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