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Contributed by the 2023-24 Young Texan ambassador Leadership Council

When it comes to summer heat, Texas doesn’t mess around. When temperatures hit the triple digits, Texans know it’s time to crank up the air conditioning or seek refuge in a cool pool. While these methods offer temporary relief from the scorching heat, these cooling methods ultimately harm the environment. 

If you’re wondering how you can make a significant difference for the planet during the Texas heat, you’ve come to the right place. Here are some practical tips for staying eco-friendly during the hot Texas Summer! 

Summer eco-friendly heat tips: cover your windows
Cover your windows 

Covering your windows is one practical way to reduce AC usage throughout the summer. Direct sunlight can significantly increase a room’s indoor temperature. By simply covering the direct sunlight that comes through the windows with blinds, curtains, or shades, you can easily prevent sunlight from heating your home. This ultimately reduces the need for air conditioning, putting the power of sustainability in your hands. 

Get a reusable water bottle.

Did you know the average American uses around 46.5 gallons of bottled water a year? Of that, only 23% of water bottles are recycled. Taking a plastic water bottle for convenience may be tempting in the summer, but remember these incredible facts about their impact. Instead, consider taking a reusable water bottle. Reusable water bottles are a smart long-term investment and can save up to $1,350 a year. And, one reusable bottle can save 156 plastic bottles from becoming ocean litter.

In addition, many reusable bottles are insulated and can keep beverages cool throughout the day, a crucial perk for staying hydrated in the summer heat!

eco-friendly summer heat tips: get a reusable water bottle
eco-friendly summer heat tips: use a fan
Use a Fan

It may seem that only air conditioning can cool you down from the hot summer heat. But what if there was another way?

Try a fan! The breeze from a fan is a great way to keep cool without air conditioning.

Fans are not only more wallet friendly but are also more energy efficient with the average air conditioner using 3,529 watts compared to a ceiling fan, which uses 75 watts.

Fans work best when there is a breeze. They also don’t remove humidity, so they won’t have the same cooling power. But, combining a fan with air conditioning also has benefits. It helps you feel cooler, and helps distribute the cool air from the air conditioning. That will allow you to set the air conditioning a few degrees higher. These small moves add up to reduced energy usage and less strain on your AC unit–and the electric grid.

Bonus Tip: Save While on Vacay!

Are you going on vacation during the summer? First, set your thermostat at a higher temperature, then cover your windows (refer to the first tip above), and finally, lower your water heater’s temperature. By doing these three easy things, your home can stay energy efficient while you are away on vacay!

Also check out these tips for staying cool when you’re outside keeping Texas beautiful!