The Environmental Working Group (EWG) publishes an annual Guide to Sunscreens. Besides listing the best and safest sunscreens (based on toxicity), they provide tips for protecting adults and children when exposed to the sun. Also provided are ratings for most all sunscreens on the market today (over 700 are included) so you can search for your current brand to see how it compares to the 149 they deem the best.
Public Green Category: Hot Weather
Summer 2012 in Chicagoland may be one of the hottest on record. Here’s some ideas to save money and energy when using your air conditioning at home:
1.Keep the filter clean. Clean/replace the filter monthly as dirty filters can inhibit air flow and force the unit to run longer.
2.Have your air conditioner regularly maintained to keep it running efficiently.
3.Keep your thermostat at 78 degrees when you are at home and 85 otherwise.
4.Install a programmable thermostat so the unit can begin cooling your home a half-hour before you return.
5.Shade your air conditioner and save up to 10% in energy usage.
For more see: Green Tips for a Cool Summer
If you are using your air conditioner during these hot summer days, you might want to consider the following tips for energy savings:
- Whole-house fans help cool your home by pulling cool air through the house and exhausting warm air through the attic.
- Set your thermostat as high as comfortably possible in the summer. The smaller the difference between the indoor and outdoor temperatures, the lower your overall cooling bill will be.
- Avoid setting your thermostat at a colder setting than normal when you turn on your air conditioner. It will not cool your home any faster and could result in excessive cooling and, therefore, unnecessary expense.
- Consider using an interior fan in conjunction with your window air conditioner to spread the cooled air more effectively through your home without greatly increasing your power use.
- Avoid placing lamps or TV sets near your air-conditioning thermostat. The thermostat senses heat from these appliances, which can cause the air conditioner to run longer than necessary.
- Plant trees or shrubs to shade air conditioning units but not to block the airflow. Place your room air conditioner on the north side of the house. A unit operating in the shade uses as much as 10% less electricity than the same one operating in the sun.
For more information please visit:U.S. Dept. of Energy, Energy Saving Tips: Air Conditioners.