This blog post was written by NWEI’s wonderful summer intern, Caroline Cozens.

Now that summer has officially arrived in force, we thought that it would be a good time to share our sustainable summer squelcher secrets with you. While it’s hard to beat the heat all the time, hopefully you can use these tips to help you be a little more conservative in your energy consumption during these hot summer days.

  • When at home, try to mainly use fans instead of A/C. When you must turn the A/C on, keep the fan running so you don’t have to blast the cool air as much.
  • If you are doing any summer gardening, think about planting some shade trees around your home. These trees not only giving you shade and cooler temperatures, but if placed near your A/C unit, can help it run more efficiently.
  • Wear loose-fitting and organic materials to help keep your body temperature down.
  • Try to use your stove and oven less, make salads and break out your outside grill.  By keeping the heat down in your home, you are making your fans and A/C’s work less and are using less energy overall.
  • When it comes to meal time, go for light entrees, and try to add a little spice whenever you can. Spicy foods make you sweat, without raising your body temperature, so you are left with an overall cool feeling — that is, everywhere except for your tongue. Which brings us to our next tip:
  • Drink lots of water. Nothing can help you beat the summer heat better than staying hydrated. While you’re at it, ditch those disposable water bottles! Remember to take your reusable water bottle with you when heading out.
  • Try to get out of your house in the evenings to enjoy a break from the heat, go for a bike ride or just a walk around the neighborhood. It can be a break for you and for your A/C.

Hopefully these tips can help you stay cooler and more energy efficient – even during the heat wave!