27 Tips For Keeping Cool From Planet Green
Photo Credit Sean McGrath
When it comes to green living, Planet Green is the go-to for how-to, and has been beating to death the subject of beating the heat. We round up a few cool thoughts:
People have lived without air conditioning in hot places for thousands of years by adapting themselves to the heat--remember that the widespread air conditioning use has only become the norm in the past 15 years or so, as Stan Cox rightly points out. This was (and is, in many places in the developing world) done by adjusting the time of day when work is done, avoiding the middle of the day, and by creating buildings that stay cooler without using external energy inputs. More in Planet Green
Living Without Air Conditioning in Texas
Most people would say it is impossible to live in Texas without using air conditioning in the summer. After all, in the Dallas area we often get 100 plus degree temperatures for days on end. It seems a given that in these conditions air conditioning would be a no brainer. Maybe that is the problem. Society doesn't really consider alternatives anymore, we blindly follow what others are doing.
Our family hasn't used air conditioning in five years. It just is not an option for us. Have there been benefits? Oh yeah there have! More in Planet Green
Low-Tech Air Conditioning Guide: The best AC is no AC.
The best air conditioning is none at all, but in much of the country that just isn't possible any more. The development of affordable central air conditioning after World War II made the development of the Sun Belt possible; almost nobody lived year round in southern Florida or Arizona before it.
In more temperate parts of the continent, the development of central air conditioning changed the design of our cities and homes; Opening windows got smaller, cross ventilation was ignored, giant picture windows faced the sun. Soon you couldn't live in an apartment or modern home in the suburbs without air conditioning. In our "Low Tech Tips" series, we looked at a number of techniques for designing, hacking, or otherwise planning for an easy to cool environment, without all the fossil fuels.
The summer heat is coming on fast, and it can be hard to resist turning to the air conditioning for relief, even for people with the greenest of lifestyles. But the A/C is one of the most energy-intensive appliances around and the more we can stay away from it, the better off our planet will be.
As someone who's spent one too many days in NYC's sweltering concrete jungle summers, praying to the gods for a cross-breeze through my apartment's windows doesn't always cut it. Even when I've done the good greenie thing and have piously renounced energy-zapping AC--turning on a fan only on the most unbearably hot days.
Trust me when I say I've learned to get creative when it comes to staying cool--and alive--during the stickiest, sweatiest, most sizzling summer months.
Here are seven tricks of the trade to keep you--and the planet--cool and collected.
Reading Mickey's interview Author Stan Cox Explores Some Uncomfortable Truths About Our Air-Conditioned World makes one think about what the alternatives are. Planet Green and TreeHugger have covered many of them; we round them up ten of them here.