Five tips for sustainable summer living
Published: May 20, 2016
For those fortunate enough to enjoy Michigan State University's campus during the warm summer months, there are several things you can do to reduce your environmental impact, savor the sunshine and support your local community.
1. Cool off sustainablyIf your space is too warm, try adjusting the blinds to keep your space cool. For another option, make use of fans, which can help circulate air and keep spaces comfortable, but be sure to unplug when not in use. Still feeling too steamy? Call (517) 353-1760 to report problems or ask questions about your heating or cooling equipment.
2. Plan for vacationThe arrival of summer also means a number of Spartans will be planning trips and leaving East Lansing for extended periods. To help reduce MSU's energy use and emissions, consider what you can do to reduce energy use while on vacation. Before leaving the office, power down and unplug all unnecessary electrical appliances to prevent energy waste. Turn off all lights in your own space and in shared areas. This simple step can reduce energy use by up to 20 percent.
Help MSU save energy and reduce emissions by referencing this vacation checklist before you leave campus.
3. Buy localA great way to get the most out of the summer months, while also being sustainable, is to enjoy produce from local farms. The MSU Student Organic Farm Stand (open Thursdays from 11 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. on Farm Lane near the Auditorium) offers a variety of produce options and supports the organic farm on campus.
Additionally, the East Lansing Farmer's Market (open Sundays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in Valley Court Park) offers produce from community growers in an open-air atmosphere. Consider doing your shopping at an outdoor market, as choosing local food reduces emissions and keeps the local economy thriving.
4. Get outsideWith fewer students on campus, the summer months are a great time to ditch the car and opt for biking or walking to work. Every ride or walk reduces environmental impact and offers the opportunity to experience the budding and blooming natural green space on campus. Be sure to check out the W.J. Beal Botanical Garden and the MSU Horticulture Gardens to see all of MSU's diverse greenery.
5. Reduce and reuseStill looking for more ways to live sustainably in the summer? By making use of widely-accessible campus recycling, you can contribute to our collective effort to divert waste from the landfill. Additionally, consider decluttering your home, and donate any unwanted household items for recycling and reuse at the Recycle! East Lansing event, taking place from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, June 4 at the Abbott Center. Have campus items to donate? The MSU Surplus Store will take your unwanted campus possessions for proper reuse, recycling and disposal.
Take advantage of these strategies this summer and help MSU and its surrounding community remain sustainable as the weather heats up.
To learn more about getting involved in sustainability this summer, visit our Events page.