Living on the Southern Gulf Coast comes with a fortune of environmental beauty, where we can appreciate paradise views, nature preserves, and wildlife year-round. In honor of Earth Day on April 22nd, there is no better time than the present to make your home eco-friendlier, learn some new sustainability practices, and explore environmental activities in our communities.
Around the house
From inside to out, there are a plethora of ways to make your home greener and can include the whole family. Here are some thoughts:
- Plant a garden – From flowerbeds that attract butterflies to growing fruits and vegetables, a garden is a great way to connect to Mother Nature.
- Harvest rainwater – Collecting rainwater prevents erosion and runoff and can help reduce your water bill (just check for any homeowner association requirements). You can use the stored water to fill pools, clean, water plants, help with drought vulnerability, and more.
- Energy-efficient home improvements – Whether you’re thinking of selling and looking for ways to increase your value or just wanting to lower your utility bills, updating your home with energy-efficient fixtures and appliances can be a great investment. Request an energy evaluation from your electric company and make any improvements with energy-efficient upgrades.
- Switch your lightbulbs – LED bulbs are offered in a variety of colors, can be smart-home innovative, last longer than standard bulbs, and use less energy.
- Reduce, reuse, and recycle – Reduce your consumption and waste production; reuse as much as you can rather than throwing things out and donate what you no longer need; and get educated on the recycling system so you know what items can be recycled when you’re throwing them away.
- Harness the sun – There are many benefits to installing solar panels to power your home and pool, but the greatest may be the reduced energy bill every month and possible incentives for going solar. Check with your utility supplier to find out what programs are available to you.
- Get the kids involved – It is said we borrow the Earth from the next generation, so starting eco-friendly habits at a young age can help put children on the path to a more sustainable life. Teach them about water and electricity usage in the home, plant a tree with them, and educate them on the importance of ecosystem protection.
Throughout Sarasota, Manatee, and Charlotte counties, there is a multitude of opportunities to get involved in local organizations focused on helping the planet.
If you search ‘Earth Day activities’ online happening in our area, you will get a list of local events taking place throughout April.
Looking to make a bigger impact? Host an event and encourage family, neighbors, friends, and coworkers to get involved. Visit Keep Sarasota County Beautiful at scgov.net to learn how to sign up for an upcoming event or start your own.
Share your passion for the outdoors with others while making the planet a little better by volunteering at local organizations dedicated to preserving and beautifying our area. From walking the beaches during turtle nesting season to educating children, there are a lot of areas to help — and many are kid-friendly or have options just for children. Here are a few sources:
The path to sustainability
One of the rewards of living in our area is the sustainability goals of our counties. Walking and biking trails and paths, accessible bus routes, and trolleys to local hotspots make it convenient and enjoyable to cut back on carbon emissions.
Growing up on Longboat Key, Michael Saunders, Founder and CEO, has always had a reverence for the environment. She served for 10 years on the Mote Marine Laboratory & Aquarium Board of Trustees and served as a Marie Selby Botanical Gardens board member for 18 years. Throughout Michael Saunders & Company’s 45 years, there has always been a commitment and pride of environmental appreciation and preservation.