Friday, July 31, 2009

10 Green Ways to Keep Cool(er) Without Air Conditioning

1. Go jump in a lake. Or your bathtub, or shower. Submerge your whole body in cool water for a few minutes--it will stay cool for a while.

2. If you can't stand the heat....minimize generating any heat yourself. Don't cook, turn off lights, no hot showers, etc.

3. Shut it down. Keep blinds and curtains closed until the sun goes down.

4. DIY A/C. Make an old-school air conditioner by placing blocks of ice in front of a fan. This works--I've been doing it myself the last two days. Don't use glass because the water expands as it freezes and will crack the glass even if you keep the lid off (I tried). Fill zip lock baggies with water and freeze into blocks, place in a bowl, put it in front of your fan and point in your direction.

5. Hydrate. Coconut water is my beverage of choice in the heat, as it replaces electrolytes and is very soothing. Drink lots and lots of H20, keep it with you in a bottle. I like to fill my Kleen Kanteens with a little water in the bottom, freeze it (with the lid off), then fill with water. Keeps it cold a lot longer.

6. Dress cool, light, and loose. Wear white or light colored lightweight fabric such as linen. Avoid black or dark colors as they absorb the heat.

7. Wear a hat. It will protect your head, face and neck, but take it off when you get inside or in shade as it will also trap the heat and make you hotter.

8. Spritz. Keep a little water bottle for spritzing face arms and legs. So simple, but it really works. You can keep a couple in the fridge and slip it in your bag when you leave the house. Keep those pulse points wet. A wet bandana tied around your neck is another way to achieve this idea if you don't have a squirt bottle handy. I've been freezing bandanas and then putting them around my neck.

9. Eat for the heat. If you're out, grab some spicy Thai or Indian food. People who live in the hottest places in the world typically have the spiciest diets. That's because the spice makes you sweat and self-cool. Plus it's a delicious treat. If you're home, make foods you don't cook, see my earlier post for some ideas.

Eat foods that contain Lycopene. Studies have shown that lycopene protects your skin from UV light. Not enough to stop wearing sunscreen, but it helps. Foods that contain the most lycopene: watermelon and tomatoes, pink grapefruit and quava. Persimmon and apricots also have some lycopene, but in much smaller amounts. Finally, eat cooling foods like mint, frozen treats, watermelon and cucumbers.

10. Sunscreen. I know we're supposed to wear it, but for me, it's not exactly cooling. It's the opposite of cooling, plus it burns my eyes. I think it is important to note sunscreen as a means to cool, because if you burn you will be anything but cool. Plus it presents a health risk. I finally found one that I can tolerate, it's Jason and it's free of a lot of those nasty chemicals we want to avoid and doesn't burn my eyes. Be sure to scrutinize sunscreen ingredients for carcinogens (more on this later).

1 comment:

JDS said...
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