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How-To: Beat the Heat the Eco-Friendly Way


San Francisco is in the midst of heat wave, and as much as I love putting on my Summer dresses, I'm not a fan of looking like a stick of melted butter. If the temperature in your 'hood hasn't risen yet, trust me, it will. So, I have a few tips for conquering the heat when it does. Not so fast, they have nothing to do with blasting the a/c: you know that's not eco friendly. To hear my tips, read more.

  • Prevent phantom loads and the idle emission of heat by plugging your electronic appliances into a power strip, which you can switch on and off when not in use. Use one in your office for gadgets, one in your kitchen, and in any other place your appliances are piling up.
  • If you haven't already, switch to CFL bulbs, which give off less heat than regular bulbs and use about 70-75 percent less energy.
  • Ovens give off much more heat than microwaves, so zap your meals instead whenever possible. If you must use your oven, cook consciously by turning off the oven five minutes before the scheduled end time and allow food to finish cooking as the oven slowly cools, and avoiding opening the oven to check on food while it's cooking, which lets heat escape.
  • Use organic bedding made from breathable fabrics, which will draw the moisture away from your body during those hot Spring and Summer nights.
  • Plant trees and bushes in front of your windows to block the sun.
  • Close your blinds or shades on windows that don't face north during the day, to keep out the sun's heat.
  • Keep your windows closed to keep the daytime heat out.
  • If you need fresh air, open two windows across from each other to allow a breeze, or even put a fan in each window.

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