Summer is coming, and it's time to get smart about eco-friendly ways to stay cool. Depending on your climate, between 20-50% of your annual energy consumption goes to cooling our homes and accounts for 5-15% of our carbon footprint. Central air conditioning systems are one of the heaviest burdens on power grids, resulting in costlier energy and more greenhouse gas emissions. So instead of cranking the A/C, use these environmentally-friendly alternatives to keep you cool this summer!

1. Start using a fan! Fans use the same amount of energy as a lightbulb, and they do a great job of circulating air and keeping you cool. Dust off the blades, and make sure it's set to circulate counter-clockwise in summer. Just remember to always turn off a fan when you leave a room because it does no good staying on if there aren't any people in the room.

2. Keep your windows closed and the shades and blinds drawn during the day to keep out heat and humidity. Then at night, open the windows to bring in the cooler air.

3. Do laundry early or late in the day to be the most energy efficient and prevent excess heat production.

4. Use CFL lightbulbs in your home. They use 75% less energy and produce 75% less heat than traditional lightbulbs.

5. Take short, cool showers and keep wash clothes in the freezer in case you need a quick cool-me-down.

6. Use peppermint essential oil mixed with water to spritz on the skin for a cooling affect.

7. If you do use an A/C, turn up your thermostat: You use 1 to 3 percent less energy for every degree that it’s set above 72.

Stay cool this summer using these Eco-friendly methods and refuse your carbon footprint in the process! #GoWilde and stay cool!

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