Winter is coming. If you live in Chicago or another city with chilly winters, you’ll seek warmth and comfort whenever and wherever you can. But if you’re an environmentally conscious person, you also might want to keep your carbon footprint down.
Here are some ways you can keep warm and comfortable in your apartment while keeping your impact on the environment to a minimum.
This is the easiest, most intuitive, and probably most oft-cited method of staying warm. Everyone who’s dealt with a truly brutal winter understands surviving it is all about dressing right. Now, there’s no need for you to have to dress like you’re ready to face a blizzard when you’re hanging out in your apartment. But wearing leggings, sweats, and a scarf can make temperatures that would feel too cold for you in a t-shirt completely bearable.
When you’re moving about your apartment, cleaning, cooking, and exercising, you’re less likely to be chilly then when you’re in a static state on the couch. Keep throw blankets on or nearby where you usually sit or lay and are less likely to be active to stay warm and cozy.
Throw Down Some Rugs
Hardwood and tile flooring can make your bare or thinly socked feet cold, which can make your entire body feel cold. Cover hard surfaces in your apartment with area rugs to serve as a buffer between your feet and surfaces that tend to run cool. You can wear house shoes, wool socks, or stockings when in your apartment too whether you throw down some rugs or not.
Snuggle Your Pet
Okay, this one is not for every pet owner. But if you like to cuddle your dog, you know how capable he or she is of generating warmth. And if you can stand the cuddling and your pet is allowed on furniture in your apartment, then take advantage of that warmth when you’re lying in bed reading or lounging in front of the TV.
Draw the Curtains
Prevent cool air from permeating your windows and entering your apartment by keeping your window treatments closed whenever it’s dark out. If your existing curtains are relatively thin, double up or invest in a thicker set.
Let the Sun Shine In
When it’s cold and dark, closing the curtains should help keep your apartment warm. When the sun is shining, however, you can heat up your apartment by opening your curtains. Even when it’s freezing outside, the energy from the sun can cause the temperature in your apartment to rise.
Lock Your Windows
On a related note, double check your windows are locked. This ensures they’re as tightly sealed as possible.
Cook More Often
When they’re turned on, your oven can add a nice touch of heat to your apartment. Yes, cooking requires energy. But cooking is necessary, and energy-efficient appliances make it somewhat eco-friendly.
Eat Warm Foods
Even if you don’t have the time or desire to do more cooking, stay warm by eating warming foods. Soups, stews, and a range of hot meals can all do the trick. O You can also try to incorporate more herbs and spices, such as black pepper, cardamom, cinnamon, garlic, and ginger, to your diet. These spices increase circulation, making it easier for your body to keep warm.
Drink Warm Beverages
Like hot foods, hot beverages can have a warming effect on your body. Stay comfortable and healthy by drinking more tea than usual in the winter. Treat yourself to the occasional hot cocoa or mix up some hot toddies rather than drinks on ice the next time you have a cocktail.
Use Your Programmable Thermostat
Programmable thermostats spare you from having to remember to turn the temperature down before leaving for work and the discomfort of waiting for your apartment to heat up when you get home. They’re also easy to override. If your apartment has one, use it. If it doesn’t, consider asking your property manager if you can install one.
Just to be clear, we’re not suggesting you make an ice box out of your apartment. But if you challenge yourself to keep your thermostat set a degree or two lower this year out of care for the environment, there are plenty of eco-friendly ways you can stay as warm and cozy as you like.
Do you have any green tips for staying warm this winter?
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