Summer is in full swing but for many countries the hottest month is just beginning. Many times the only option considered is to run to the thermostat and start blasting the air conditioning. Of course this is a tempting option, but it isn’t an eco-friendly choice. Many times there are other things you can do to cool down and enjoy the summer season.
- Keep the heat out: Sometimes just keeping the blinds drawn on windows that receive direct sun can cut down the heat that enters into your home.
- Do chores in the evening: dishwashing, laundry and even cleaning the house during the right time of day can help keep things cooler.
- Eat fresh foods: opting for dinners that require little cooking such as salads or chilled dishes can really cut down on the heat created from the stovetop or oven.
- Turn off lights/use LED lights: It seems like a no-brainer but so many people leave the lights on when they leave a room. Light bulbs emit heat and can add unnecessarily to your agony and not to mention your electric bill. Consider LED bulbs that emit no heat and are energy efficient.
- Cross-ventilation: Later in the day when the sun isn’t directly beating down on to your house, open the windows on opposite sides of the house and use fans to create air flow.
- Wear loose clothes: dressing right in the summer can be half the battle. Using loose fitting linen or cotton clothes over synthetic materials helps to naturally keep you dryer and more comfortable.
- Stay hydrated: You should be doing this all the time, but in the summer months even more so. Drink lots of water and less caffeine and alcohol.
- Use cold or warm water: if you wash dishes by hand, use cold water to rinse the dishes after washing. When you do laundry, opt for cold washes.
- Sleep with the windows open: As temperatures go down in the evening, use it to your advantage. If you live in a downtown apartment in a big city this might not be an option because of the noise, but even a half hour of air flow before going to sleep makes a difference.
- Line dry your clothes: this saves a lot of energy and also limits the heat created by a dryer. Plus it’s a great energy saver.
- Cook outside: Make it a reoccurring thing to grill out or have potluck style meals and take the heat out of the kitchen.
- Use dehumidifiers: If you live in a place with high humidity, try using a dehumidifier to take the moisture out of the air, making it more tolerable. Or if you’re lucky your a/c unit might already have a dehumidifier mode.
- Be Smart about your thermostat: Sometimes it is necessary to run the air. But turning it down to 70ºF/21ºC isn’t. Try setting your thermostat around 78ºF/25ºC instead to find the balance between comfortable and eco-friendly. Also, run the air only when you really need to. Does it have to be on at full blast all day when you’re at work?
Have any other advice on keeping cool in the heat? Add your advice in the comment section. Stay cool my friends!
Author: Ali @ Sustainable Psyche
My name is Ali. I am an American living in Italy. I am passionate about delicious food that is also ethical, healthy and sustainable. I love pasta and pizza, traveling, horseback riding and exploring the vibrant city of Milan that I call home.
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