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  1. Although it may seem counterintuitive, in climates with dry heat, covering up can actually help cool you down. Dress in loose-fitting, light-colored fabrics to protect yourself from overheating.
  2. Ah, the great outdoors! It’s hard to resist spending time outside when the weather is perfect. Go ahead and make the most of it, but remember to stay safe. Here’s how to protect yourself―and the environment―without breaking the bank!
  3. Sometimes the cure for pests can be found right in your cabinets. Stay pest-free with an eco-friendly DIY repellent: Simply dab pure vanilla extract or lavender oil behind your ears and on wrist and neck. Or try an inexpensive organic bug spray like Happy Trails repellent ($7.50; vitaminlifehealth.com).
  4. Having a party? Rather than spraying everyone or using up your homemade repellent, put out some citronella candles. Citronella oil is derived from a grass, so it’s completely natural, and the candles cost no more than the average unscented version. Be sure to buy only those that are citronella-based and contain no added chemicals.
  5. For an easy, pesticide-free method of garden control, mix one cup of canola or vegetable oil with a gallon of water and spray wherever needed. You can also finely crush or boil several garlic cloves and mix with a gallon of water for a similar effect.
  6. Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the U.S., so it’s important to be sure you’re protected from the sun. While chemical sunscreens don’t always block UVA rays effectively and may fade within the first half hour of use, mineral sunscreens protect against both UVA and UVB rays. Zinc oxide is the safest and cheapest option. Try Walgreens Sunblock with Zinc Oxide, $5.
  7. Just like your skin, lips need to be shielded from the sun. Most name-brand lip balms protect with SPF, but they’re also full of chemicals. Luckily, there are plenty of affordable organic brands to choose from. Kiss My Face (kissmyface.com) has a line of lip balms with sun protection, and they’re just as wallet-friendly as drugstore brands!
  8. Looking a little red after a day in the sun? Aloe vera is a popular and natural remedy, and it costs as much as the average body lotion. For a free option, soak in a cool bath with ½ cup baking soda. You can also try applying vitamin E cream to help heal and shorten the effects of sun-ravaged skin.
  9. Cut up place mats into drink coasters. Most place mats are already water-resistant and made for wear-and-tear, so no extra prep is necessary. 
  10. If your family loves cereal, you can avoid buying wax paper ever again. Wash and save the plastic bags that come in cereal boxes―they can be repurposed to wrap sandwiches or cold-cuts, store leftovers or freeze meats.
  11. Add ripped or worn-out shirts to your arsenal of cleaning supplies―whether you’re washing or dusting, the scraps come in handy as extra rags.
  12. Chipped coffee mugs make perfect homes for small flowers or herbs. Just fill with potting soil, plant seeds or flowers and place on the windowsill and you have your own portable garden!
  13. The brown paper bags you carry out of the grocery store can be easily converted into covers for your kids’ textbooks. That’s one more thing to scratch off your back-to-school shopping list!