When you're heading out of town, it's always good to ready the house. Happily, these tips are good vacation practices, as well as little ways to practice green living—even while you're away. We know that some of these tips are just common-sense practices, but we like this checklist—especially helpful for those times when we're rushed out the door for a long weekend away. Feel free to offer your own tips.
• In the summer especially, don't forget to water your plants and garden before you leave. Or set the timer on your irrigation system to lend a hand. If you'll be gone for a while and don't want your veggies or flowers to suffer, enlist the help of a good friend or neighbor.
• Turn the air up, but not off. We like to keep a little air circulating so when we return, we don't have to breathe stale air for a while. It also keeps our house plants a little happier. And of course, if you're leaving any pets at home alone, it's something to be hyper-aware of. We leave ours between 80 and 82 degrees (which is better for the house when outside temps climb above 100!).
• Put lights on a timer, or leave on a couple of lamps outfitted CFL bulbs.
• Don’t pay for any vampire power! Unplug the TV, computer, and anything else with an "off" light.
• For your air quality's sake, be sure to take out the trash and compost before leaving town.
We also like to clean house a little before we leave, so that when we get back we're greeted with a fresh home. What about you?
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(Image: Apartment Therapy, 11 Tips for Slowing Down.)