Green Corner: Staying cool never felt so green

With the much-anticipated arrival of summer, our houses, rooms and cars are going to heat up quickly. Without using expensive and energy-consuming air conditioning, it is still possible to enjoy the warm weather and remain calm, cool and collected.

The first trick to staying cool is creating a breeze. This can easily be achieved through keeping windows open, so that outside air can travel freely throughout the room, house or car. For those days when the hot air just won’t stir, a fan set on low will do the trick. When the sun is out, keep the blinds drawn, which will keep heat from entering your room and becoming trapped there by the glass. Turning off heat sources, like lights, chargers and other electronics that generate heat will also reduce the temperature in a room. Steam generated from showering, cooking, doing laundry and doing the dishes quickly raises the temperature of a house or room. Though these activities can’t be avoided, doing them after dark when the air is cooler will keep the rooms cooler as well. Trees and shade are inherently lower in temperature, so if there is a section of your house or room that is under the shade of a tree, it is bound to be a more comfortable place to spend time. Or you might just want to sit outside under a tree and relax in nature’s own air conditioning.

There are also plenty of easy ways to keep your body temperature down in hot weather. Keeping key body areas, such as the wrists and the back of the neck in the shade, or with cool, wet compresses on them will make your body think it is cooler than it actually is. Another simple tip is to stay hydrated. Drinking at least eight ounces of water each hour will give the body enough moisture to sweat, and in turn, keep itself cool. Some foods are known for their cooling properties, so stock up on mint, watermelon, basil and oranges.

With this in mind, wetting your hair, wearing wet clothes or simply keeping your skin damp will increase the amount of water that evaporates off of it, which helps to cool down your body. Heat rises, so spending time in low, dark places will easily keep you cool, such as lying on the floor of your basement.

-Hannah Strong

Wesminster eco-rep

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