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5 green-friendly and cost-free ways to keep cool this summer

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Now that summer has officially started, many of the residents in the Philadelphia area will look for ways to stay cool during the long, hot summer days.

It’s no secret, however, that keeping cool costs cash, especially if running an air conditioner is your only solution.

For the green friendly, beating the heat also raises environmental concerns, as energy use spikes in the summer months.

But don't worry! It is possible to beat the heat, save money, and go green.

Here are some tips on how to do it without spending a lot of money:

1. Avoid using appliances that give off heat
Summer is the perfect time to fire up the barbeque and cook outside. Avoid using the oven and stove, as both give off abundant amounts of heat that will affect the temperature of your home by several degrees.

If you need to cook inside, use a microwave or a toaster oven. Both emit less heat and are cheaper to operate than the oven and stove.

2. Read a book
You may not realize it, but your television puts off a lot of heat. Don’t believe it? Next time you’re in an electronics store, stand in the television section and feel the heat that radiates off the sets. Turning off the tube and cracking open a book is not only a great way to chip away at your summer reading, it’s also a great way to keep cool!

Fifty Shades of Grey may get steamy, but the pages will keep you from breaking a sweat.

3. Use a wet washcloth to cool down
If you need a quick cool down, don’t blast the air conditioner! Wet a washcloth and place it in the fridge or freezer before you go out. When you come back home, you’ll have a nice, cool way to chill your body. Just drape the cloth across the desired areas and the evaporating water will provide a rejuvenating cool down.

Placing undergarments and other clothing in the freezer will also keep you cool for a few extra minutes in the hot summer sun. Just don’t forget about them when having guests over!

4. Wear clothing made from natural fibers
Nature was kind enough to provide us with a plentiful amount of natural fibers—many of which ‘breathe’ better than man-made fabrics.

Avoid polyester and other synthetic fabrics. Cotton, linen, and even hemp are a much better alternative in the dog days of summer.

5. Get out of the house
Give your air conditioner a break. Turn it on a lower setting or, better yet, turn it off and go to public places where the air conditioning will be running with or without your presence. Places like the library, the mall, the grocery store, and the movie theater are great places to go to beat the heat.

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