5 tips to stay cool working from home (without upping your carbon footprint)

It’s going to get hot, with heatwaves expected in the US and Europe and even the UK’s expected to hit 33C. 

It’ll be even hotter for anyone living in a town or city where more concrete and fewer plants mean that urban areas absorb and emit more of the sun’s energy. 

So here are five tips to keep cool that won’t up your carbon footprint and make the situation even worse.

  1. Close your curtains and shut the doors 

    Tempting as it is to let the sunlight pour through your window that will heat your home office like a little greenhouse. Close curtains and doors, especially ones facing the sun, to help keep cool through the day.
  2. Take a cold shower

    If you need tips on making them more enjoyable, check this out from Wim Hof. Cold showers are especially good for getting to sleep at night.

    If the idea of a cold shower leaves you cold, try a cold-water bottle. Fill it up, pop it in the freezer and then put it on your lap. Even quicker, get a bowl of water and a towel and keep dabbing your neck and face. The water will evaporate, and you’ll feel a nice cool sensation.
  3. Drink cold drinks

    Good for hydration but also for keeping cool. Stick some glasses, or a jug of water, in the fridge now and top up your icetray. If you need to grab something cold from the shop, make sure you recycle it. Not only can an aluminium tin be recycled forever, but you’ll save 90% of the energy needed to make a new one.
  4. Open windows early only

    It seems counterintuitive, but opening windows during the day can heat your room rather than cool it if the temperature outside is warmer. Keep windows open in the morning to bring in the cold air and then close them up. If you do need to open a window, make sure you create a draught by opening another on the opposite side of the room. 
  5. Make the fan worth it

    If it gets so hot that you need to turn on a fan then these tips can at least keep the cost and carbon down a bit:
    • Put a bowl of ice in front of it for a chilling effect
    • Put it on the floor and tilt it upwards. It’s cooler down there you’ll get the best effect
    • Power it with renewables (obviously!). Let the big windmills power your little one.
    • Turn it off whenever you leave the room. Fans blow air around; they don’t make the room colder, so leaving it on only wastes energy.

And of course, take lots of breaks, get outside if you can (in the shade!) and maybe stick the weather for the places below on your phone to remind us that it’s the vulnerable who really feel the worse effects of climate change.

Memphis is the second poorest city in the US, with 45% child poverty.

Jacobabad in Pakistan. Their heat wave has now abated but imagine 49C with no air con.

And a final, rather scary, did you know. At 100% humidity, the human body cannot survive over 35C.