JOY / / City Living

Go green, keep cool


It’s mid-March and it looks like Bengaluru is gearing up for its warmest summer yet. With each year getting warmer, finding new, innovative ways to keep cool seems almost impossible — especially if you are looking to minimize your environmental footprint.

Ironically, the one hope for respite from the sweltering heat — air conditioners — might be contributing to the problem itself. Air Conditioners largely run on electricity, and we don’t need a scientist to tell us that using electricity generated from non-renewable resources contributes to global warming. Does this mean that we begrudgingly swear off our beloved air conditioners for good?

Maybe in an ideal world.  But there sure are ways to beat the heat, without letting our ACs work overtime.

Plant indoors

Houseplants don’t just keep your home cool, they also cleanse the air, while giving your home a chic appeal. What’s more, there are so many options to choose from. So turn down your ACs and turn up the green quotient in your home. If you need help picking the right plants, here is a blog that may help.

Go green on the outside

Add some charm to your evening chill-out spot while tackling the summer heat. Planting a garden on your terrace or balcony can help bring the temperature down at home.

If a terrace garden seems too far-fetched, summer window boxes can do the trick. Planting green plants on your window ledge helps cool the hot air coming in through your windows.

Keep electronic-heating at bay

When it comes to cooling, little things matter too. Electronic gadgets and appliances emit heat, contributing to rise in your home temperature. Monitor your electronic usage and turn off  electronics such as chargers, irons, laptops, etc, as soon as you use them. Switching from incandescent bulbs to LED or CFL ones can also help reduce the heat, while cutting down your energy consumption and carbon footprint.

Open up your windows

We often forget that natural ventilation can bring the heat down. Allow cross-air circulation by opening up windows on opposite ends of rooms. For Indian summers, the ideal time to cross-ventilate is between 5:00 AM and 8:00 AM, and 7:00 PM and 10:00 PM.

Choose the right curtains and blinders

Light-coloured curtains reflect light. So choose white-or pastel-coloured cotton and linen drapes over dark, synthetic ones. Layering your windows with jute and bamboo blinders can also help keep your homes cool. Do not forget to keep your curtains drawn while stepping out.

Wear sustainable cotton clothes:

Keep away from synthetics and make light-coloured cotton clothes your best friend this summer. Cotton is light, absorbs sweat, and lets heat escape faster from your body.

Up your sustainability game by choosing brands that are environment-friendly, and source their fabrics ethically, such as NorthMist, No Nasties, The Pot Plant, and others.

Remember — making small changes to your home and lifestyle can help reduce your carbon footprint. So this summer, give back to mother earth in your own little way.