Maximize your summer relaxation time - Metro US

Maximize your summer relaxation time

Need more time to relax? Here are a few tips on how to reduce your ecological impact, save money and time.

Leave your grass clippings on the lawn and save yourself raking time. The grass clippings provide nutrients to your lawn. Let your lawn get a bit of a full head of hair before you mow it, especially in dry conditions. This keeps moisture in and means fewer mows per summer and fewer resources for mowing. Then, for even more reading time, replace lawn with low-maintenance native vegetation.

OK, I have to admit I throw varieties of Hostas around the yard even though they are not native, because even with lots of neglect they seem to flourish. I say we should also accept the dandelion. Sure, take a few out with a shovel to make yourself feel good, but be OK with the fact that a full-on assault effort is likely to wear you out.

Depending on where you are going, biking or walking may be quicker, especially if parking and traffic are an issue. It is also cheaper, faster, better for the air, and for your lungs. Another great tip taken from kindergarten is sharing. Sharing chores, space and things can reduce the workload of one and cut down on costs.

In the last 50 years, average house sizes have almost doubled. Buy a smaller, more efficiently designed house and save cleaning time, ongoing costs and reduce the ecological cost of build and operating. Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Canada has recently launched a rating system for new homes that “promotes the design and construction of high-performance green homes.” Contact the Atlantic Chapter of the Canada Green Building Council for more details.

Fill things up before they are activated, like the dishwasher and washer. This will cut down on the number of loads you do and save electricity and water. Use technology to reduce the cost and time of travel by teleworking when possible, or by using audiovisual tools such as Skype to attend a meeting.

A final tip that I have learned the hard way: Measure twice, or in my case three to four times, and cut once. One time I cut outdoor carpet for a little trailer. I did a beautiful job. Except I cut the shape in reverse. So I had to cut again and wasted two hours and carpet.

Happy snoozing.

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