If you’re already fearing the summer heat, join the club. Just the thought of sweating makes me sweat. And with all this global warming, what’s a good environmentalist to do? Cranking up the AC will only exacerbate the problem—at least in the long term. Try some of these ideas for keeping your cool on a warming planet:
Get some freaking shade
Rock gardens are great, especially in parts of the U.S. where water is scarce and should probably not be used on lawns, thank you very much. But shade is key for staying cool, so if you have a pretty barren yard, look up some (drought-tolerant) species, and get planting.
Similarly, close the blinds
Where the sun is hitting your window, keep the blinds closed to prevent your house from heating up too much.
Similarly again, synchronize your windows with the time of day
Open all your windows at night, once the air has cooled down; close them first thing in the morning, before it heats up. In other words, use nature and your insulation to your benefit.
Cool down where it counts
Apparently, running cold water over your “pulse points,” or places like your wrist, can help cool down your whole body. Do this frequently.
Use a fan
Much less energy-intensive than AC, and gets the air moving around. You can put a bowl of ice in front of it to mimic AC, too.
What else is all that sunlight good for? It’s either skin cancer, or reducing your electricity bill by line-drying your clothing and air-drying your dishes.
We generally recommend cooking at home rather than eating out; you usually use fewer resources. So, keep that up, but stick to things like salads or wraps that don’t require a stove or oven. You’ll keep from heating up your kitchen and body.
Change your incandescent bulbs to CFLs
You haven’t done that yet? C’mon. Another way to reduce your electricity bill and environmental impact, but also, a 100 watt incandescent emits as much energy as a human body. That’s hot.