Student’s Corner

We have finally said goodbye to a bitter Rochester winter, and if you’re anything like me, you’re gladly welcoming the warm summer months. But with summer can come intense heat, and with heat comes the desire to crank up the AC. Unfortunately for those of us who don’t like to pass out from heat stroke, running the AC 24/7 is highly unsustainable. In anticipation of hot summer days, check out three simple sustainable methods of keeping cool during the summer.

  1. Turn off and unplug

For starters, turn off the AC for a while. This doesn’t mean you’ll have to sit around sweating to death – in addition to turning off the AC, try turning off lights and unplugging as many electronics as possible. This will not only help reduce the amount of heat being produced in your home, but will help reduce the amount of energy you’re using, making it a two-for-one when it comes to being sustainable. Remember that the more things you have plugged in, the more heat you’ll be producing, so try to unplug as many things as possible. If this isn’t enough to keep cool, you can try pulling down the shades to keep the sun out, and also use a fan.

  1. Drink lots of water

Staying hydrated is important when it’s hot out, and it will help keep you cool as well. And be sure to use reusable water bottles! When it comes to food, try to avoid using your oven and stove, which only add to the heat in your house. Instead, opt for cooking outside on a grill for a summer BBQ, or have cooler meals and snacks like salads and fruits.

  1. Take advantage of the cooler evenings

While it may be tempting to go out and enjoy the sunshine, on particularly hot days you can get in your outdoor time when it’s a cooler in the evenings. This way when you’re out, you can give your AC a break if you had it on during the day. And on days when it’s not too hot out, you could spend your time outside with some gardening! Consider planting shade trees around your home to keep too much sun from getting through your windows and heating up your house. This will not only help keep temperatures lower, but will help the environment as well.

Ciara McGillivray, Class of 2018

Source: Northwest Earth Institute

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