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Keep Cool Without AC (Because It’s Making You Broke)

Baby, it’s hot outside. And like every other summer, people all over are getting back into popsicles and running into movie theatres just to cool off. With this hot weather—which by the way can be delicious, if you take advantage of swimming holes, beaches or public pools—comes a renewed addiction to the air conditioner. But you may want to reconsider blasting your AC in the cars, in your house, and in your workplace (unless you’re working outside, ’cause that breeze is free). It raises your electricity costs by fifty percent.

If you really want to save money this summer, you should unplug your AC. This doesn’t mean you’re going to melt into a steaming puddle of unhappiness. You just need to know the other—cheaper—ways to cool off. We’ll start with your office.

The following is an excerpt from Greening Your Office by Jon Clift and Amanda Cuthbert.

Don’t switch it on; reduce the need for air conditioning by:

Reducing internal heat sources
Most of the energy consumed by conventional light bulbs is released as heat, which is very inefficient. Change your light bulbs to low-energy ones—remove this heat source and reduce your energy bill at the same time.

Most conventional office equipment, from computers to photocopiers, also produces heat when operating, further warming your office air. Switch machines off when not needed, or put them on standby. Consider using the “traffic light system” for your office equipment: red—do not turn off; amber—put on standby; green—turn off.

Shading your windows
Preventing the sun’s rays from entering your office will help prevent the air in your office from warming up. Curtains and blinds inside the office help considerably. However, it is most effective to shade the windows externally by fitting shutters or awnings, which can be put away when not required.

If your office is on the ground floor, consider creating shade by growing plants around, above, and over your windows. There are many fast-growing beautiful plants that will add a new dimension to your office space and be a pleasure to watch throughout the seasons.

Ventilating naturally—open the windows!
Experiment with opening various windows to produce a pleasant cooling breeze; on all but the stillest day it is possible to generate natural ventilation.


Chelsea Green Weekly for May 5, 2017

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How to Make Biochar

Doing some spring cleaning around your property? By making biochar from brush and other hard-to-compost organic material, you can improve soil—it enhances nutrient availability and also enables soil to retain nutrients longer. This excerpt from The New Farmer’s Almanac, Volume 3, explains how to get started. To make biochar right in your garden, start by […] Read More

The 10 Steps that Establish Your Baby’s Microbiome

Research is emerging almost daily on the role of the microbiome in human health. But how do we acquire this mysterious community of microbes and more importantly how do we make sure the good bacteria outnumber the bad? According to a new book by Toni Harman and Alex Wakeford, Your Baby’s Microbiome, it all starts […] Read More

Prepare! Keep a Grab-n-Go Survival Kit Handy

Are you prepared in the event of a sudden emergency? Blizzard, earthquake, insurrection after the inauguration? We know a lot of people are wondering what’s coming next in the US, as well as the world, given terrorism, politics, and global warming, among other threats. In this excerpt from When Technology Fails, a popular book on […] Read More

Chelsea Green: In the Media 2016

Oh, 2016. Where did the time go? Each year, Chelsea Green receives hundreds of mentions (well over 1000 in 2016) in the media both big and small. From interviews, to excerpts, to opinion pieces by authors we’re always working to make sure that the mission and message of each book is spread far and wide. […] Read More
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