5 Green Ways to Stay Cool this Summer

Beating the heat is easy with these five simple tips!

The summer months are upon us and as the thermostat rises, some of us stop to wonder if there are any greener living tips to surviving the sweltering heat. While some of these suggestions may not be as comfortable as standing in front of the open freezer with the air conditioning on full blast, but you can feel better knowing that you're doing your part to fight global warming and your electric bill to boot!

  1. Go Swimming! The age-old summer activity of going swimming to escape the sun's glaring rays is a perfect green activity for the entire family. If you are fortunate enough to live close to the pool, consider walking or riding your bike instead of driving. Don't forget your sunscreen, but make sure to bring the lotion type and avoid the spray canisters that seem so popular these days!
  2. Brew a Pitcher of Sun Tea. Nothing puts the temperature in check and fills the heart with a sense of well-being like a fresh, cold glass of sun brewed tea. It's simple to make and cheap too! First, start with a one gallon glass container with a securely fastening lid or lint-free cloth held tight with rubber bands. Next, fill the container with water. Add 4-5 tea bags of your favorite tea, you don't have to stick to store bought green or black teas, you can experiment with any number of herbal varieties. This can be especially rewarding when you brew tea from herbs you have gathered yourself. Finally, secure the lid or lint-free cloth and place the container where it will get direct sunlight. After 24-48 hours you can bring the container back in, pour it into a pitcher, add sweetener such as honey or sugar, and then place the pitcher into the fridge. If you love sun tea like my family does, you can have two or three batches rotating at all times to keep up with demand!
  3. Eat Popsicles. Of course! Who could forget popsicles? Are you trying to cut High Fructose Corn Syrup out of your diet? There are commercial alternatives available, but why not make your own? You can use juice, pudding, homemade root beer, or even some of your sun tea! It's an activity that the whole family can enjoy, and I'm sure there will be no lack of help when it comes to eating them!
  4. Use a Fan Instead of Air Conditioning. By opening your windows and using fans to direct air flow, you can avoid costly electric bills and do your part to reduce greenhouse gas emisions. Using an Energy Star approved ceiling fan can reduce your annual electric bill by 15-20 dollars as compared to the rest on currently on the market, so make sure to look for that label!
  5. Dress for the Heat. Wear lighter colors! Darker clothes absorb the heat from the sun whereas lighter clothes help reflect it. Are your clothes made from a polyester blend? If so, you might cool off faster by switching to clothes made from natural fibers such as cotton.

So there you have it, 5 simple steps to shedding some heat this summer while being green conscious! And hey, if all else fails, plant a tree!

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