Use shade trees and ice cubes to beat summer heat

As the semester winds down and the weather starts to warm up, there is more time to spend outdoors with family and friends. No more waking up early for class or staying up to all hours of the night writing papers. But that doesn’t mean to stop your already developed green living habits!

Natural shade allows for a cool escape without wasting power and energy. (AP Photo)

With leaves, flowers and plants blooming and becoming more vibrant, there isn’t any better opportunity to help the environment.

Here are some easy summertime green tips so you can get the most out of the months to come.

1. Give your dryer a break, hang laundry out to dry: Dryers use up a lot of energy. Point blank. The U.S. Department of Energy estimated that a normal household dryer uses more energy than any other appliance in the house. The hot temperatures and constant breeze are not only better for the environment, but also your clothing. Air-drying doesn’t wear out fibers or cause color fading.

2. Air conditioner vs. ice: That’s right, ice can cool down your house too. Situating a bowl of ice in front of a fan can cool down a room almost instantly and using a fraction of the energy needed to power an air conditioner, not to mention the added moisture in the air helps with temperature.

3. Walk or ride a bike: Nothing is worse than being trapped in a car with a bunch of people on a hot summer day, especially if you’re condemned to a lengthy car ride. Try riding your bike or walking in order to make the most out of the gorgeous weather, plus it takes the strain off your wallet.

4. Grow your own shade: I can’t recall how many times I’d lie in my backyard and yearn for shade until I decided to grow my own. I started planting trees in my backyard at a very young age and now almost 15 years later I have created a nice sanctuary that keeps me out of the harmful rays of the sun.

Before you leave the College for summer break, you might be wondering what to do with all of your unwanted furniture and clothing when moving off campus. Everyone should go and check out Bonner’s Reduce for Good Use campaign.

Paula Figueroa-Vega, associate director of the Bonner program, has taken on the initiative to alleviate the problem of college students wasteful end-of-semester behavior. She’s created a pick-up service that collects unwanted furniture pieces, including furniture, rugs, refrigerators, electronics, appliances, non-perishable foods, linens, clothes, shoes and coats. All proceeds benefit the Rescue Mission in Trenton and its many patrons. The Rescue Mission is a “local not-for-profit that services the homeless population,” according to the Bonner website.

“The Rescue Mission of Trenton currently derives approximately 30 percent of its annual operating revenue from the salvage and resale of clothing, furniture and household items donated by the public,” the website states. “The bulk of the items sold at the Mission Store, located at 98 Carroll Street across from The Times, comes from donations from the public.”

This opportunity is open to both on and off campus College students and everyone is encouraged to participate. Instead of throwing out that old microwave, why not make a difference in someone’s home?

Any further questions should be directed to Paula Figueroa-Vega at pfiguero@tcnj.edu.