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Thursday, August 11, 2022

Going green – How best to keep your cool when it’s a red hot scorcher

Keeping cool when it’s hot (photo: Adobe)

Latest article from Angela Terry

Green Green campaigner and consumer expert, Angela Terry, separates climate change facts from fiction and here she explains how you can take simple, practical steps to help save the planet. Follow @ouronehome & visit https://onehome.org.uk/ for more advice.

Q: How do I keep cool when it’s hot?

A: Global warming means that heatwaves are becoming more common. This year, record-breaking temperatures have been recorded all over the globe – even in the Arctic and Antarctic.

Keeping cool when it’s hot (photo: Adobe)

This trend is set to continue. This could be the coolest summer of the rest of your life so it’s a great idea to learn how to feel cool when temperatures are soaring. Here are my tips …

During a heatwave we need to drink more water than usual to maintain our body temperature and replace fluids lost through sweat. Aim to up your water consumption to around 2.5 litres a day.

We sweat because it helps control our body temperature. It works by releasing heat through beads of sweat that evaporate off the skin. Water can work the same way.

If you’re working at home you can regularly spritz water on your face and neck. Make sure to keep your computer or laptop dry! You can also steep your feet in a bowl of water under your desk.

Use tepid water. Ice-cold water actually makes you feel warmer afterwards because your body has to work harder to balance your core temperature with that of your skin.

If you’re outside try to stay in the shade. If you have a garden without a tree, then buy a parasol or sun shade.

Remember being in the shade won’t protect you from heat exhaustion. Keep sipping water, wear a wide brim hat and use high protection sun cream.

Choose loose-fitting clothes made from breathable, natural fabrics, like cotton, linen and bamboo. Synthetic materials, like polyester, are water resistant. This means they’re terrible at absorbing moisture. When you wear them, your sweat builds up because it has nowhere to go.

Exercise is essential for health and wellbeing. But during a heatwave, your body is already working overtime, so take it easy, especially at peak heat between 11am and 3pm.

Air conditioning units and electric fans account for a whopping ten per cent of global electricity consumption. Due to rising temperatures, the global stock of air conditioners is projected to rise from 1.6 billion to 5.6 billion by 2050. Air con leaks gases known as hydrofluorocarbon refrigerants (HFCs) – a major contributor to global warming.

Sleeping during a heatwave can be tricky. Pop your pyjamas in the freezer half an hour before bed. Avoid heavy meals and excess alcohol. Taking a lukewarm shower before bed should also help you drift off.

Celebrity spot

Film star Jason Momoa, who hails from Hawaii, has been made Advocate for Life Below Water by the United Nations (UN).

When speaking at the UN Ocean Conference in Portugal, where he was given the title, the Aquaman star described how he hoped to help protect the ocean and all living things on our blue planet for the generations yet to come.

He added: “It is also existential.

“Without a healthy ocean, life on our planet as we know it would not exist.”

Film star Jason Momoa – who hails from Hawaii – has been made an Advocate for Life Below Water by the United Nations (UN) (Photo: David Livingston/Getty Images)

Green swap

Choose reusable cups and plates for kids’ birthday parties, rather than disposable.

A reusable coffee cup (photo: Adobe)

Use the child-friendly ones you have already. Kids don’t care if they don’t match!

Throwaway plastic cups can take 450 years to decompose – and they’ll leave microplastics behind.

How families can enjoy eco-friendly days out

With summer holidays upon us, it’s time to enjoy spending time with our families.

There are so many planet-friendly ways you can do this. Here are just a few ideas …

Pack some sandwiches and head out to the countryside or a coastal path.

As well as being one of the cheapest days out, spending time in nature is one of the best things you can do together.

Research shows it’s good for everyone’s mental health and wellbeing. The UK also has 15 beautiful National Parks to explore.

Visit the Eden Project (photo: Adobe)

A global garden in a series of bubble-like glass domes, Cornwall’s top visitor attraction provides an unforgettable day out.

You can explore tropical rainforests and Mediterranean landscapes, as well as enjoy a packed programme of cultural summer events.

Thanks to a bus from St Austell station, you can get there by public transport.

The Centre for Alternative Technology

Nestled in the foothills of Snowdonia, Wales, is a world-leading eco centre, where the latest green technologies are tested.

The Centre for Alternative Technology is all about creating a future without fossil fuels.

You enter via a water-powered funicular railway before exploring hands-on displays about renewable energy and green buildings.

There’s also an adventure playground, quarry trail and plenty of spectacular woodland to explore. It’s dog-friendly too!

With locations in Cheshire and Norfolk, the BeWILDerwoods are outdoor play parks based on Tom Blofeld’s magical children’s books of the same name.

Kids will love to explore these woodland worlds of wonky tree houses – with zip wires, super slides and giant swings. There are storytelling and craft sessions too.

As well as over 50,000 living plants on its UNESCO World Heritage site, Kew Gardens, offers the world’s largest Victorian glasshouse and a children’s garden, where little ones can run, jump and climb.

If you’re not near London, there are plenty of other botanic gardens, such as The Royal Botanic Garden in Edinburgh, Cambridge University Botanic Garden and Sheffield Botanical Gardens.

Visit a rewilding project

As the UK’s one of the most nature depleted countries on Earth, it’s a great idea to support rewilding projects by visiting them. Knepp Wildland is an East Sussex estate that was once intensively farmed. Look out for the Tamworth pigs, Exmoor ponies and red deer! Bamff Wildland in Perthshire, Scotland, has its own beavers.

Fact or fiction

Tap water is better for our planet than bottled water.

Research shows the environmental impact of bottled water is up to 3,500 times greater.

It takes three times as much water to produce a bottle of water than it holds. What a waste!

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