15 tips to green your summer

By Maria, ACE Field Correspondent

Are you wondering how you can have an AWESOME summer that's a bit more eco-friendly than last year? Well, you're in luck! Here are 15 simple tips to green your summer!

Are these DOTs, you ask? You bet. These are simple ways you can Do One Thing to help the environment. And while they may seem small, they add up if we all do them together! You can choose your DOT here:  http://www.acespace.org/dot


1.    This is a simple one; turn the water off when you're brushing your teeth.
2.    5-minute showers! That's my goal for the summer, make it yours as well!
3.    It's hot out! Stop using the hairdryer, air-dry your hair instead. It's better for your hair as well as the environment.
4.    Can't make coffee at home? Bring a travel cup to your local Starbucks, McDonald's, Caribou's, or whatever the case may be and they'll fill it for you at a discount.
5.    Stop brown-bagging. Use a cloth lunch bag instead. Not only will it save trees, but it'll make your lunch look more chic.
6.    Get your tires' pressure checked. It can improve mileage up to 3%!
7.  Walk! Or carpool. Are you going to the pool? Ask a friend or neighbor for a ride, it they're going there too. Join the 2 Mile Challenge and ride with ACE!
8.    Run a full dishwasher whenever possible. Same for the washing machine, ask family members if they have dirty clothes so you can wash them all together.
9.    Wash clothes in cold water, it will use less energy.
10.    Turn the TV and/or computer off (and unplug 'em) when not in use.
11.    Borrow! Need something to read? Go to the library! It's better for the environment than buying a book because it'll save ink and paper.
12.    Stop junk mail, you know those unwanted ads, flyers, and bogus "You've Won" letters.
13.    Mom bugging you to clean up? Clean in an organic way -- buy or make organic house cleaners! You'd be amazed at how clean vinegar & water can make things.
14.    Turn off the AC & use a fan instead. But if it gets really hot you might have no choice but to turn it on.
15.    Finally one tip I'm sure everyone's heard before: recycle! Or as my old social studies teacher would say, "Reduce, reuse, recycle!"

Have  a great summer! And whatever you do, make sure you share your DOT!

Maria is a student at Hinsdale South High School in Darien IL