Staying Cool While Watching Your Pennies….and Being Green

O.K. so I live in the Chicago area and we’re experience a terrible heat wave, which started Saturday and is supposed to last until next Sunday. I’m on a fixed income right now (as are many people right now) — working a full-time retail “survivor” job and freelance writing and editing until I find that next great full-time opportunity. So, during this heat wave ceiling fans and lots of water have become my friends…and my cats friends too! Sure, I have an air conditioning unit, which I turn on for a couple of hours at a time and then turn off — trying to save electricity and be green too.

So, what can you do to stay cool but save money and be better to the Earth?

First, fans are your friend! Use stationary or ceiling fans — anything that moves the air. If you live in a home, install an attic fan. Attic fans have two benefits: 1. keeps the air moving and 2. pulls in the cooler air from outside. So, it’s essential that you wait until the air is cooler outside and open your windows and then run the attic fan.

Close your blinds or drapes — this keeps the cool air in and the hot air out.

Stay hydrated!!! It’s important to drink lots of water anyway, but especially important during the “dog days of summer”.

Use public places during the day — go to the library, coffee shop.

Set your thermostat just a few degrees higher.

Don’t use the oven — by sticking with cold foods you’ll save money and energy.

Use an ice pack on the back of your neck, pull your hair back, wear a bandana with cold soaked water and put it on your head — all of these ideas keep you cooled off.

Even though you may not want to, avoid alcoholic and caffeinated beverages.

Lay on the bottom floor of your house.

Fill the bathtub full of ice cold water and get in.

These are just a few suggestions how to cool off! Also, don’t forget your four-legged friends!!!! If you have a dog, take them out for a very short walk. Place extra dishes full of cold water around the house, especially if you have more than one pet and if you have ceiling fans, keep them on for your furry friends even when you’re gone.

This soon will pass and in only a few months we’ll be complaining again that it’s too cold outside!