As summer rolls around, it's important to remember to preserve to environment so you can enjoy great weather for generations to come. Australians have one of the biggest carbon footprints in the world, producing around 18.8 tonnes of carbon dioxide per person every year. If you want to go green and protect your family's future, here are 3 ways to reduce your summer carbon footprint.

Don't Buy Bottled Water

When you and your family take a trip to the park, do you grab a few bottles of water from the local shop on your way? While it's important to stay hydrated in the hot months, the production of bottled water emits a shocking amount of carbon into the atmosphere. In fact, bottled water creates about 600 times more carbon dioxide than tap water -- just one bottle damages the environment as much as a 1km car journey would. Next time you take a family trip, remember to fill enough reusable bottles for everyone to stay hydrated without damaging the environment.

Eat Your Greens

On a particularly warm day, you may feel too sluggish to eat a cooked meal. That's what makes summer the perfect time to for you and your kids to eat more greens. Did you know that 15% of all greenhouse gas emissions are caused by the meat industry? That's the same amount produced by all the vehicles on Earth! Why not ditch the meat a few days each week and switch to a hearty, chilled vegetable salad instead? You can add pseudo-grains like quinoa and pulses like chickpeas to make your salad more filling, and you won't have to eat a dinner that makes you feel even warmer.

Get an Awning

How often do you use your air conditioning unit in the summer? Perhaps you even have multiple units working in unison throughout the day. Running an air conditioner for just 1 hour can emit over 3kg of carbon dioxide, so anything you can do to reduce how much you need to use the AC is a good thing. One of the best ways to keep your home cool is by having awnings installed. Awnings are both stylish and effective, reducing heat gain by 65 to 77% depending on which way your windows face. The more heat you keep out, the less you and your family need to put your air conditioner on. As an added bonus, awnings can also provided a shaded outdoor area for you to enjoy the summer sun without overheating. Contact a company like Patioworld NSW Pty Ltd to check some out.