Wednesday, June 22

Keep Cool the Eco Way

It's been terribly hot here in California with the current heat wave passing through. Temperatures in the Bay Area stay relatively reasonable throughout the summer months, so our home doesn't have air conditioning.

That got me thinking, what can be done to stay cool without using luxuries such as fans, air conditioners, or swimming pools? All of which can run up the electric/water bills and consume way too much energy.

Here are some things to try:

1. Close the windows during the day and open them at night - This will make a major impact on the temperature inside the house. Throughout the day check to see if the outside air is hot or cold; only opening them if the air is cooler than inside the house.

2. Close the curtains - Keeping direct sunlight from entering the home will help keep rooms cooler, longer.

3. Keep lights off - Lights in any form generate heat (including candles). Try to keep them off when not needed.

4. Turn electronics devices off - Just like lights, electronics generate a ton of heat. Especially computers. Think of this as a fun opportunity to have a conversation, play some board games, or interact in other ways that don't involve electronics.

5. Keep the stove off by cooking raw or cold meals - As much as this is about keeping the room cool; cold foods will also relieve the heat from the inside out. Ice water, raw fruits & veggies, cold salads, etc. are all yummy ways to stay refreshed during the hot weather. For an extra-special treat, try throwing some strawberries in the freezer for a bit. They are delicious!  

6. Stay downstairs - Heat rises, so hangout downstairs or in the basement. I have plenty of found memories doing this with my sisters. We would have so much fun together.

7. Run around in your skibbies - Ahhh! Underwear for the win. Yes, I'm in mine right now and it's loads of fun. Just remember, inside only, and keep the curtains closed. Unfortunately, this won't be an option for anyone that has roommates or kids. Some nice shorts paired with a midriff or tank-top will do. If you actually go outside, it's better to cover your skin from the sun to keep cooler. Long, white, loose-fitting clothing is best.

8. Use an ice pack on neck or wrists - An ice pack is such a relief and will help with weight loss as well if placed on the back of the neck. As for the wrist trick, it's an old remedy that my mother taught us and I remember doing this at Disney World when it was a bazillion degrees out. She was very concerned and told us to put our wrists under cold water when we were at the restroom. This would instantly help, because the back of the wrist is so sensitive to the cold.

9. Keep long hair tied up - If you have long hair, keep it off your neck and back by putting it up in a bun. It's surprising how warm your hair keeps you.

I wish you all the best throughout the summer months. Stay cool.