5 Eco-Friendly Ways To Keep Cool This Summer
This summer, we are experiencing record temperatures across the globe. While it may be tempting to crank up the AC and lock yourself inside with a cold foot bath and a book, the reality is that using too much AC, electricity, and water to cool down actually makes the planet hotter in the long run.
So how do we keep cool and reduce our carbon emissions at the same time? While it may feel like a catch-22, luckily, there are eco-friendly ways to keep cool that won’t hurt the planet. Here are 5 ways you can help the environment and refresh yourself at the same time.
Eco-friendly ways to keep cool: Mix up some salad!
Cooking and eating hot meals heat up your house and your body! When it’s hot outside, it’s best to stick to cool meals like salads and sandwiches. Not only will you keep your house cooler by keeping the stove and oven off, but you will be cooling down and refreshing your body with cold food and lots of H20 filled fruits and veggies.
And of course, reducing your time using appliances is always a great way to help the environment. Everytime you make a cold meal using less electricity, you will save money and reduce your carbon emissions.
Need some cold meal inspiration? Try this delicious corn salad created by Jenny Shea Rawn of Cape Cod Kitchen for a summery, refreshing meal that will keep you and your kitchen nice and cool.
Corn Salad with Avocado and Crunchy Chickpeas
- 2 cups fresh (or frozen) corn kernels
- 15.5 oz can black beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
- ½ cup cilantro, chopped
- 1 bunch scallions, sliced
- 2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- ¼ cup seasoned rice vinegar
- 1 avocado, cut into chunks
- 1 6 oz bag crunchy chickpeas (we used Saffron Road Korean BBQ)
Combine corn, beans, tomatoes, cilantro, scallions, olive oil and vinegar in a large bowl. Divide among 4 bowls or mason jars. Top each bowl with avocado and chickpeas. Serve. Or, if time allows, make salad and refrigerate at least an hour for flavors to meld then top with avocado and chickpeas.
Learn more about our different crunchy chickpeas flavors here and get a free coupon!
Eco-friendly ways to keep cool: Hang your clothes to dry– outside OR inside!
Another great way to reduce your electric use and cool down your home is to stop using your dryer and hang you clothes to dry. When there is this much heat and natural sunlight available to dry your laundry, there is really no reason to use your dryer, which heats up your home and increases your carbon footprint.
There is nothing like the fresh smell of sun-dried and wind-blown laundry, so go ahead and hang your clothes on a line and let your clothes dry the old-fashioned way. Check out this DIY tutorial on creating a clothesline in minutes, even on an apartment balcony.
When it’s unbearably hot outside, you can even go a step further and hang your clothes to dry inside of your house using a portable drying rack. While it might take a little longer and add a little moisture to the air, hanging your clothes inside has a nice cooling effect on your home and can reduce the temperature of your house by a few degrees.
Eco-friendly ways to keep cool: Buy breathable organic cotton clothing
When it comes to keeping cool, dressing appropriately is half the battle. Luckily, the best clothes for staying cool are also the best clothes for you and the planet. Natural fibers are much more breathable than synthetic, and also are better at absorbing sweat.
To stay cool, opt for a 100% cotton fair trade organic dress that will keep your body and mind at peace in the hot summer heat. Indigenous is a company that specializes in creating lightweight cotton dresses that are made with ethically sourced, fair trade materials.
Buying natural materials, ensuring that they are fair trade, and buying high quality clothing that you will keep for years instead of throwing away after one season, now THAT’S an eco-friendly plan.
Eco-friendly ways to keep cool: Create some smart shade
There is no way you can beat the heat if you are roasting in the sun, whether this be inside your house or out in the yard. Creating smart shade is probably the number one way to keep yourself cool and help the planet at the same time.
Of course the best and most obvious way to do this is to get gardening! Planting trees is an amazing way to help the environment, reduce your carbon footprint, and help the eco-system of your region. However, it is also a great way to cool down your home and create some helpful shade. The leaves of the plant will absorb the sunlight, and if you plant trees near your home, you can create a tree cover that will keep your home in the shade at peak hours of the day.
Unfortunately, trees take some investment and strategy to plant, and take time to grow. In the meantime, make sure your windows are equipped with curtains or shutters that will block out the sun at the peak hot hours of the day. It may seem counterintuitive to keep your windows blocked up when it’s hot out, but the heat from the sun will do more damage than the little breeze you may get from having your windows wide open.
Eco-friendly ways to keep cool: Protect yourself outside!
In order to stay cool when you’re out and about, all you need is a hat with a brim and some sunblock. Wearing a hat is a very efficient way to keep your head from heating up too much in the sun, and will prevent you from getting heat stroke. Similarly, you absolutely need to be lathering up in sunscreen everytime you go outside to prevent sunburn and overheating. And of course, keep the water coming at all times of the day, even when you don’t feel thirsty.
If you are really missing the air conditioning, you can still take advantage of it by going to public places that have AC during the hottest hours of the day. By hitting up the mall, library or movie theatre when it’s hot out, you can reap the benefits of AC without having it on at your personal residence.
We all want to do our part to help the planet as much as we can as we start to see the effects of global warming in our daily weather. As we adjust and cope with more extreme climates, it’s empowering to know that there are options out there to stay comfortable and cool while doing our part to reduce your carbon emissions at the same time.