EPA has released its 15 "Hot Tips for a Cool Summer" to save money, water, and energy while protecting health and the environment. Here is a quick recap:
1. Cool down your house or office. Swap out old bulbs for Energy Star®-qualified lighting, which use less energy and produce 75 percent less heat. Also, raise your thermostat by 2 degrees, and use your ceiling fan to reduce cooling costs by 14 percent.
2. Drive efficiently. Obey the speed limit, ease up on the brakes, avoid hard accelerations, and reduce idling time to increase gas mileage.
3. Practice safe sun habits.
4. Monitor beach advisory reports.
5. Check the ultraviolet (UV) index and current air quality. When planning outdoor activities, use EPA's apps to review daily and hourly forecasts of UV radiation levels.
6. Take a photo! Submit environmental photos to EPA's State of the Environment photo project.
7. Keep the bugs at bay. Use the right insect repellent and apply as directed.
8. Conserve water. Water used outdoors is often wasted through evaporation, so water lawns and gardens in the morning when winds are calm and temperatures are cool.
9. Practice outdoor green cleaning. The summer is a great time to wash cars, decks, and boats. But cleaning runoff and washwater can end up in storm drains, resulting in the contamination of waterways. Use environment-friendly cleaning products.
10. Breathe clean air. Because people spend approximately 90 percent of their time indoors, indoor air quality is a major concern: mold, radon, and carbon monoxide are the biggies. Be sure to test your home and office to ensure that they are not present.
11. Travel green. Look for Energy Star-certified hotels, which use, on average, 35 percent less energy and emit an average of 35 percent less greenhouse gas emissions than their peers.
12. Cut down on waste and recycle. True in every season!
13. Season firewood. Summer is a great time to prep for cozy fall and winter fires.
14. Compost. Save landfill space, feed the soil, and prevent methane.
15. Share your story. Submit a meaningful story or idea to EPA's Six Words for the Planet project.