Sustainable Living and Scorching Summer Temps – Staying Cool to Beat the Heat

Summer’s heating up and if you are trying to stay cool but also adhere to sustainable living tactics you may be at odds between your morals and your sweat glands! Cranking up that air conditioning can be mighty tempting, but it will also drastically increase the carbon footprint of your home and you’ll also be paying a pretty penny to your utility companies. Of course it isn’t feasible for everyone to ditch their air conditioners entirely, (in some areas you’d probably be risking heat stroke!) there are some things you can do to at least limit your reliance on them. So for those sweltering summer temperatures keep these sustainable living tips in mind.

Go fans? Well, this may be an obvious one but if you use your fans wisely you can keep cool and save plenty in terms of energy consumption. Ceiling fans are one such option and you also want to make sure they are blowing in the correct, downward direction, so that you reap the most rewards. Secondly, placing portable fans in front of where you are sitting will keep that cool draft ablowing and you can then turn down that air conditioner and keep more in line with sustainable living. Another point to consider is that fans will be most effective in smaller quarters so do your best to shut the doors to rooms you are not currently using and then the area you are sitting in will be that much cooler. Finally seek out those energy star labels where you can and that includes fans.

Cut the lights. This sustainable living tip will work two-fold; lights and other electronic appliances will increase the heat in a room and they only use up more energy. The more things running the hotter it will be; so the more things you can unplug the better. You will also be saving energy from those unplugged appliances as well, further reducing your overall consumption. Yet while you may think it is then best to open the windows for the extra sunlight, you could actually be making it worse and in this instance you’d be better off with just a few energy efficient lights on instead. The light from the sun will be offset by the amount of heat coming in and that will make you more reliant on the air conditioner inside. Unless it’s significantly cooler outside, in the early mornings or nights, keep the windows and drapes closed and then only turn on enough lights so that you can see.

Cook wisely. Seriously rethink that oven in the summer because it will heat up the whole house; also people are generally more apt to eating cooler foods during these times anyways. For sustainable living purposes if you are going to cook opt for the microwave or grill; summer is also a great time for a barbeque outside. By keeping the heat out of your meal times your AC won’t be working as hard. Another point in terms of what you eat is to seek out foods with plenty of water content (think fruits and veggies) to keep you cool and always be sure to stay hydrated during these scorching summers. Sustainable living doesn’t mean you have to be pitting it out indoors, with a few adjustments and savvy practices you can still be cool and eco-friendly.

Photo credit: Bredger