School break, icy treats, sunny adventures, breezy outfits… Summer is great in many aspects, but when hot days strike, things can get a bit intolerable. Check out these 8 simple sustainable switches to help you stay cool and green this summer.
USE A FAN INSTEAD
Here’s an obvious one – don’t abuse your air conditioner. Fans are just as effective if you’re looking to bring in some coolness and air circulation into the room. And they burn less electricity and dollar signs. WINK.
SET YOUR AC BETWEN 24 oc AND 26 oc
Who are we kidding, Hong Kong’s summer can be hard to bear without air conditioning. But instead of offsetting the heat with a dramatic blast of cold air, try maintaining your thermostat at 24 to 26 degrees as it is the most economical and environmentally friendly setting. (fun fact: increasing your thermostat by just 1oc in can reduce the running cost of your appliance by 10%.)
TAKE COLD SHOWERS
This is one of our favourite things to do in summer. Taking cold showers not only helps with blood circulation and improves concentration, it’s also an effective way to lower our carbon footprint as it doesn’t involve heat or electricity to warm up the boiler. Plus, we tend to wrap things up quicker in a cold shower than with a hot one, so it naturally reduces our use of water and our bill.
EAT COLD FOODS
Cooking, microwaving, and eating hot food brings additional heat to our body and our house, so why not swap them with simple salads, sandwiches, juice and fruits. These cooling foods are refreshing, nutritious, and require minimal preparation and hardly any gas.
USE A BUCKWHEAT OR BAMBOO PILLOW
Forget about having to flip your pillow every 10 minutes to get the cooler side. Pillows made out of buckwheat or bamboo don’t absorb heat the way cotton pillows do, so they can keep your mind cool and make a hot night more bearable.
GO FOR LIGHT BLINDS
Same concept as wearing a light shirt when you’re out and about on a hot day. Dark colours absorb heat and light colours reflect it. So invest in a curtain that’s bright and light and be sure to use it during the day to shield off some hot sun ray.
TAKE YOUR SWEAT OUTSIDE
We know the summer bod doesn’t come easy. But instead of going to the gym, try sweating it out in the outdoors. Make use of the natural heat to help you detox, and enjoy your green workout sesh that doesn’t involve machinery and greenhouse gas.
DON’T USE A DEHUMIDIFIER ALONGSIDE THE AC
There’s nothing humorous about Hong Kong’s humidity. Many households have a dehumidifier because they work wonders in sucking out the moisture and preventing mould. But at the same time, they can increase the cooling load and makes your AC work hard to deliver the cool factor. So it’s best to not run them at the same time.