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Much of the western part of the country is ablaze with wildfires right now, and dangerous weather patterns are striking down extreme heat to the east as well. No matter where you live, it’s vitally important to know how to stay safe and be prepared for the hottest weather outside. Here are some helpful tips on how to live smarter and more sustainably when dealing with dangerously hot temperatures.
Keep Your House Cool
When the sweltering summer heat kicks in, it’s important to have a game plan so your house stays cool enough to withstand scorching temperatures. There are several ways you can keep your home cool during the summer. Finding curtains to block out heat coming in through your windows is a great way to keep temperatures cool inside. Thermal insulated blackout curtains can get expensive but you can make your own by using lightly colored fabrics.
Depending on where you live, planting trees can be a valuable tool to providing shade to your home. Taking cold showers can be a relaxing way to cool off during the summer and having the right shower head can make such a difference. Sealing up any air leaks is also important to preventing any cool air from escaping outside. You can purchase or build specific structures used to block out heat from the sun such as outdoor shutters, blinds, and awnings.
For those living in humid areas of the country, purchasing a dehumidifier is a great way to eliminate humidity in your household. Your stove top and oven generate so much heat and it’s worth considering cooking outside. You can make your own rocket stove at no cost to you and it can be a wonderful way to connect with the outdoors.
Keep Your Garden Cool
Once it gets up to triple-digit heat levels outside, your garden will suffer the consequences and feel the absence of rain. In dry summer conditions, gardens can wither away and lose their ability to survive. There are many drought-tolerant plants you can grow that require less water to thrive such as hazelnuts, mediterranean grapes, and sea berries.
Keeping your garden moist can be a challenge but there are a variety of practices you can use to help it. Using mulch or a cover crop is much preferred compared to having bare soil in your garden. You can also create a grey-water system by collecting rainwater. To prevent runoff, you can create terraces and swales.
Even if you try these techniques, your crops will still die if they don’t get enough water. Especially in drought season, it’s smart to grow at least a few crops that can withstand dry and extremely hot conditions. Crops such as prickly pears, loquats, and fava beans can survive dangerous drought conditions and there are tons of other crops able to survive as well.
Keep Yourself Cool
Sleeping in extreme heat is something no one wants. Air conditioning works like a miracle during the summertime but your AC bill can hurt your budget if you’re not careful. There are dozens of ways to keep yourself nice and cool at night. The type of sheets you sleep with at night can affect the airflow of your body. Cotton linens such as satin, polyester, and silk are a lot more breathable than other sheet types and can make you feel much more cool at night.
There are also high-tech pillows, which work as a cooling pad and circulate water throughout your sleeping cycle. Placing ice packs on your pulse points is an effective method of generating coolness to your body. Pulse points include such areas as the neck, elbows, wrists, ankles, groin, and backs of knees.
Generating a cool cross-breeze is another helpful technique in creating a cool sleeping atmosphere. It’s as simple as placing a fan across from an open window so the outside wind and fan come together to build a stronger current. There are so many other ways to keep yourself cool at night such as filling a bottle with hot water and placing by your feet to keep them toasty, dampening a sheet with cold water and using it as a blanket, and putting sheets in a plastic bag and keeping them in the fridge or freezer just for a little while before you head to sleep.
Keeping your home, your garden, and yourself healthy and cool can be difficult when temperatures reach such dangerous levels outside but we hope by utilizing these tips, you’ll be able to live happier and safer and enjoy your summer even more.