Sustainability (noun)- capable of being sustained; of, relating to, or being a method of harvesting or using a resource so that the resource is not depleted or permanently damaged; of or relating to a lifestyle involving the use of sustainable methods

In simpler terms, sustainability is the methods of properly disposing of disposables, recycling, eating locally, conserving water and all other resources and goods, and reducing energy use and waste.

Here are some statistics that call for action:

The United States wastes 60 billion tons of food annually.

About 36 football fields worth of trees are lost every minute.

The average American used 176 gallons of water daily, compared to the 5 gallons of water an average family in Africa uses daily.

With stats like these, it is no surprise that a lot of people are tending toward sustainable practices. We have companies turning 'ugly produce" into appealing snacks, businesses running on solar power, and most stores promoting reusable bags.

In the midst of summer, it is especially easy to try out some sustainable techniques:


1. Become a more conscious consumer at the grocery store.

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Since you have more time on your hands, spend an extra minute to look for sustainable items in the food store. buy products with less packaging. Look for fair trade products. Bring your own reusable shopping bags!

2. Rely on daylight as much as possible.

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Summer is the best time to rely on daylight because we have the most of it. You can pretty much go from 5am to 9pm with the sun as your lightbulb!

3. Take shorter showers when possible.

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It's pretty hot out, so its not like you have to stand under the shower for 20 minutes just to feel warm. Try to be in and out with some showers... Do what you need to and then get out.

4. Recycle!

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If reusable bottles aren't your thing, you'll probably be drinking more water, gatorade, and other beverages out of recyclable bottles in the summer. Just pay attention and make sure you toss them in the right bin.

5. Shop at local markets and farmer's stands.

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With the nice weather, a bunch of fruits and veggies are in season. You can find little farmers stands just about anywhere if you look hard enough!

6. Open windows for some fresh air.

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This one is something that might be a bit hard in summer because any fresh air that is going to flow through your home is probably too hot for comfort. However, as it gets closer to fall, you can rely on the breeze to be your AC on a cool enough day.

Summer is the perfect time to put into practice these simple sustainable techniques!