Despite new construction home energy codes becoming increasingly more complicated to achieve, we were proud to announce that Echelon Home Builders is Michigan Energy Code compliant and has received the Nelson Energy Seal®. Our commitment to creating efficient family homes doesn’t stop there—we want to help your family take eco-friendly safety steps this summer.
Here are six to get you started.
Shade– During hot, sunny Southeast Michigan summer days, it’s important to take a break from the sun and hit the shade. Consider adding a large umbrella or shade sail to your deck, patio or even in the backyard. If you’re hosting a party or BBQ, strategically place large shades in the most likely conversation areas. You can minimize your air conditioning unit’s energy costs by adding shade near it or planting a tree—see below.
Activities- Instead of driving to a friend’s house or carting the entire family to a park, consider new methods of transportation. Walking, running, biking, roller-blading and other activities not only reduce your carbon footprint, but will reduce your fuel costs and burn extra calories picked up at all of those fun July 4th celebrations!
Farmers’ Market- Once you locate one closest to you, head over for the freshest fruits and veggies in all of Southeast Michigan! Choosing farmers’ markets helps the environment in many ways. For example, you’ll find meats, cheeses, and eggs from animals that have been raised without hormones or antibiotics and have grazed on green grass and eaten natural diets. Also, consider that Food in the U.S. travels an average of 1,500 miles to get to your plate according to CUESA (Center for Urban Education about Sustainable Agriculture. Opting for local produce saves a ton of fossil fuels and tastes better than produce that has been sitting on trucks for days.
Eat in- Put all of those fresh fruits, veggies, meats and dairy products to work by making lunch and dinner at home—or pack a picnic! Cooking your own meals means less processed foods which use many non-renewable resources to manufacture and often contain ‘shady’ ingredients. As a bonus, you’ll save a lot of money cooking homemade meals and can use preparation time as an opportunity to teach your children about food safety.
Trees- Planting trees is a short step that will reap benefits over the long-term. Each tree helps cool the entire planet according to a study from Lawrence Berkeley National Lab—not only via cooling the immediate area through shading and evapotranspiration, and the local area by reflecting and reducing heat, but the water that evaporates from trees creates low-level clouds which reflect the sun cooling the earth. Here are specific tips on where to plant.
Your skin- Always apply sun screen when outdoors, but choose an eco-friendly one for you and your family. Products free of parabens and phthalates are safe for you and mother Earth. Check if your sunscreen is safe here.
Article by: Jennifer Elkow
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