Now that summer has officially begun, it is time to slip into your favorite sandals, hop in a lake, and eat lots of watermelon. But with extra fun comes added risks, especially when enjoying the great, and hot, outdoors.

The EPA has released their list of 15 Hot Tips For A Cool Summer. Their advice includes important warnings, like remembering to use sunblock, but they also make some untraditional suggestions, like the best type of firewood to use and how to begin composting.

The list also addresses Energy Star savings. Energy Star is a government program that steers consumers towards energy efficient products and places in order to save money and energy.

According to the Energy Star website, “Americans, with the help of Energy Star, saved enough energy in 2010 alone to avoid greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to those from 33 million cars — all while saving nearly $18 billion on their utility bills.” The EPA suggests not only watching the energy consumption in your own home, but also checking out Energy Star hotels when going on vacation this summer. According to Energy Star, "On average, America’s 47,000 hotels spend $2,196 per available room each year on energy."

Below are the EPA’s 15 Hot Tips For A Cool Summer. Do you have any Earth-friendly advice not mentioned here? Let us know in the comments below!

List and tips courtesy of the EPA.

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  • 1. Energy Savings For Your Home

    The average home spends almost 20 percent of its utility bill on cooling. These cooling bills can be lowered by simply changing out incandescent light bulbs with EPA's Energy Star qualified lighting, which use less energy and produce approximately 75 percent less heat. Raising your thermostat by only two degrees and using your ceiling fan can lower cooling costs by up to 14 percent too.

  • 2. Increase Your Gas Mileage

    Obey the speed limit; go easy on the brakes and avoid hard accelerations; reduce your time idling; and unload unnecessary items in your trunk to reduce weight. If you're not using your removable roof rack take it off to improve your fuel economy.

  • 3. Prevent Skin Cancer And Be SunWise

    Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the U.S. and is the most common cancer among 20 to 30-year-olds. Remember to practice safe sun habits.

  • 4. Heading To The Beach? Check The Water.

    Americans take almost two billion trips to the beach every year. Beaches are a place to play, watch wildlife, fish, and swim. Learn more on how to plan a safe trip to the beach and check out state specific beach advisory and closing notifications.

  • 5. Take EPA's Apps With You On Your Smartphone

    The AirNow app gives location-specific current air quality information to use to protect your health when planning daily activities and the Ultraviolet (UV) Index app provides daily and hourly forecast of the UV radiation levels from the sun so you can better prevent overexposure to the sun.

  • 6. Enjoy The Outdoors And Capture The State Of The Environment

    Almost 40 years ago, EPA's Documerica project captured thousands of images across the nation as EPA's work was just beginning. Now it's your chance to mark the progress and submit environmental photos to EPA's State of the Environment photo project.

  • 7. Protect Yourself With Insect Repellents

    Mosquitoes and ticks can carry diseases but you can protect yourself by choosing the right repellent and using it correctly. Read the product label before using; apply just enough to cover exposed skin and clothing; and look for the protection time that meets your needs. Children can use the same repellents as adults unless there is a restriction on the label.

  • 8. Water Wisely

    A large percentage of water we use at home is used outdoors. As much as 30 percent of that outdoor water use can be wasted due to evaporation by watering in the middle of the day. Water in the morning when winds are calm and temperatures are cool. Look for the new WaterSense labeled weather-based irrigation controller that uses local weather data to determine whether your sprinkler system should turn on.

  • 9. Clean Greener

    If you're going to wash the car, deck, boat, or RV- be sure to look for the Design for the Environment (DfE) label to quickly identify and choose cleaning products that are safer for families and also help protect the environment. Look for the DfE label on grill cleaners as well.

  • 10. Improve Your Indoor Air

    About 90 percent of people's time is spent indoors. While inside this summer, make sure to free your house of mold, test your home for radon, check your carbon monoxide detector and ask those who smoke to go outdoors.

  • 11. Check Into An Energy Star Hotel

    On average, America's 47,000 hotels spend more than $2,000 per available room each year on energy. Look for an Energy Star certified hotel--they perform in the top 25 percent of hotels nationwide, use an average of 35 percent less energy and emit an average of 35 percent less greenhouse gas emissions than peers.

  • 12. Waste Less And Remember To Recycle

    Each year, Americans generate millions of tons of waste in homes and communities but it's easy to reduce, reuse, and recycle. Recycled items such as glass can be used in roadway asphalt (glassphalt) and recovered plastic can be used in carpeting and park benches. Learn what you can do to waste less.

  • 13. Season Firewood

    Summer is a great time to season firewood in preparation for fall and winter. Remember to split firewood to the proper size for your wood stove or fireplace, but no larger than 6 inches in diameter; stack firewood to allow air to circulate around it; cover the top of the stack to protect it from the rain; and store your firewood for at least 6 months before using it.

  • 14. Looking For A Summer Project And Tired Of The Heat? Try Composting

    Composting can be a fun and educational summer project that saves landfill space, helps feed the soil and prevents methane, a potent greenhouse gas.

  • 15. Let Summer Inspire You And Submit Six Words For The Planet

    Keep the creativity flowing beyond the school year and into the summer by submitting a meaningful story or idea in just six words.

  • Also On Huffington Post...

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