The days are growing shorter, not to mention chillier. What's an eco-friendly person to do when they get cold this winter?
Don't worry, there are quite a few simple, inexpensive, and environmentally positive things you can do to stay warm as the leaves change and the frost starts appearing on the ground.
1. Dress in layers. I just bought a few new pairs of high-tech thermals. No, not the old waffle weave kind (ick), but clothes made with fabrics designed for athletes and people who lead active lives. Wearing these will let me keep the temperature lower while I work at my home office.
2. Keep the main thermostat down, but supplement it. Our home heating isn't very efficient (not much we can do about it -- we rent and can't rebuild the entire system), so we keep the temperature set in the low 60s. We supplement the main heating system with a few small, efficient, plug-in electric heaters that we run when we are in specific rooms. This way, we concentrate the heat in rooms that are actually in use. You might have different options on how to do this in your own home, so explore them and see what works for you.
And if you're sitting in place for a while, why not throw a blanket over your legs? Let your body do the work for free that a furnace would otherwise do at a high energy cost.
3. Check for drafts. Leaks in your windows and doors not only let your warm air out, they let that chilly air back in. We have door snakes
under or behind several doors. They help tremendously.
4. Wear a hat indoors. It's a misconception that you lose more body heat through your head than other parts of your body -- any exposed body parts will emit heat -- but why keep that important 10 percent of your body uncovered?
5. Exercise! Seriously, a few minutes of sit-ups of push-ups or aerobic exercise will wake your body up and make it burn more efficiently. Just don't get to the point where you start sweating excessively, as the sweat will carry the heat away from your body and start to cool you off! Oops!
6. Watch the drapes. Open and close your window coverings throughout the day as the sun moves around your home. Let the sun in when and where it can come in, then cover the windows that are in shade. This will help the sun heat your home while keeping heat from escaping through shady windows.
7. Cuddle! There's nothing like a loved one (or a cat or dog!) to keep the heat in the family.
What are your ideas for keeping warm? Share them in the comments!