5 ways to stay cool in a heatwave
Heatwaves are a health risk and many folks can find it very difficult to keep their homes and bodies from overheating. Here are some tips to stay cool and what to do if you end up getting too hot.
Image: European Union, Copernicus Sentinel-3 imagery
As temperatures continue to soar around the world, heatwaves are becoming more frequent and intense. But they’re not only uncomfortable; they can also pose serious health risks. It’s important to stay cool and protect ourselves while also looking out for those who might be more vulnerable in our communities.
Here are some practical tips to help you cool down during a heatwave.
- Shield Your Home from the Sun’s Rays: It might be counterintuitive to keep your windows closed during heatwaves but as soon as it starts to feel hotter outside than it is in your home – it’s best to close all your windows and close your curtains or blinds when the sun is directly on them to keep the heat out. You can also put tin foil with the shiny side facing outward in your window to reflect heat away.
- Let the Heat Out! In the evening, if it’s cooler outside open all your windows and doors for as long as possible to let the cooler air flow through your home and remember to close them again in the morning before it gets hotter.
- Stay Hydrated: Freeze water bottles overnight so you have ice-cold water to drink throughout the day. Make yourself an electrolyte-infused hydration drink by mixing 100ml of lemon juice, 2 tbsp lime juice, 500ml of water, 2 tbsp of honey, 1/8 tsp sea salt.
- Make Your Own Air Conditioner: Freeze a big bottle of water overnight and put it in front of a fan (on top of a towel to catch any condensation). Sit in front of the bottle and enjoy the cool breeze.
- Cool Your Skin: Take cold showers or baths (and then dry off in front of your homemade air conditioner!). Keep a spray bottle of water in the fridge so you can mist yourself through the day. You can cool off fast by soaking your feet in a bucket of cold water.
How can you help others?
We are facing an unprecedented severity and frequency of heatwaves and the impacts aren’t felt equally. It is the people with underlying medical conditions, people in unstable housing, and some of the same folks who were hailed as ‘essential workers’ during the height of the pandemic who are the most at risk from the impacts of these heat waves. Make sure to check in on people in your community, particularly elderly and unhoused folks. Consider distributing cold water bottles to folks who might need them.
Share these tips with your friends and family.
What else can you do about the climate crisis?
Make Polluters Pay: Heatwaves like this are a direct result of the escalating climate crisis that could have been prevented if our political leaders had taken timely action. Things will get much worse if we don’t call on governments to make fossil fuel companies pay for this crisis and use the funds for building a green economy that works for people and the planet!