Progress: Wha?

I’m really glad I post once a month about what I’m supposed to be doing, because today I had to go back and check what I was supposed to be doing last month.  It appears I was supposed to be working on travel offsets, gardening, and talking to the apartment complex.  Right.

Well, I gardened- put up some pictures recently too- and I started some research on the carbon stuff, hopefully I can get up a post on my initial impressions on that tomorrow.  I did realize it’s a much bigger question than just picking a good offset group.

Didn’t do the apartment stuff at all, though.  Actually I haven’t talked to the apartment manager since then- and she definitely hasn’t sent out the recycling reminders she promised.  So, yeah.  I should probably get on that. Perhaps I will feel the motivation later.  Summers are good for building revolutionary tempers, right?

So, this month.  No big plans on my mind.  Keep gardening, finish up the offset stuff, plan my trip (I leave in a month!).  See if I can build up any anger about the recycling situation again.  Bleh.

Know what?  It’s too hot to care.  I’ve lived in VA my whole life, and the summers are getting more unbearable every year.  When we were kids, we spent the hottest month or so of the year with Dad’s family up in northern Wisconsin, so maybe I just didn’t notice it so much then.  And this year I’ve got two weeks in an antipodean winter to look forward to, but it got hot and humid again yesterday and I couldn’t stop thinking about armpits and despair.

So this month, while I bake in the heat and can’t care, let’s pretend it’s an environmental thing. I’m starting a No-AC-Summer Challenge.  Rules are easy: I’m not turning on my AC.  Instead, I will learn to deal.

My apartment is on the top floor, and has uninsulated windows that get full sunlight until about 1pm.  I pull in solar gain all day, then, plus heat rises up to me from apartments below.  I am up high enough to get some nice breezes, though.  So, my goal is to keep the sun out and the air circulating, so I don’t come home to an oven every evening.  My windows will stay cracked, then, while my curtains will remain drawn all day.  To save energy during the workday, I’ll only plug in the portable fans when I come home.  In addition, I’ll keep the ice cube trays full for when I need them, some water in the fridge, and popsicles handy.  Showers will need to be cooler.  And I’ll need to dress for the temperature inside- gym shorts, tank tops.  I haven’t had the AC on yet this year, so hopefully I can keep that up.  I’ll share other coping strategies as I come up with them.

The goal is more reactive than proactive this month, but its too hot out for that to bother me.

5 Responses to “Progress: Wha?”

  1. 1 Kenneth Moore June 10, 2009 at 8:10 am

    Y’know, not using the AC isn’t so bad if you keep the windows open. Since my heating/cooling vent thing is right in front of the window, I can’t use it–that’s where all my plants are. I’ve been without temperature modification for months, and I haven’t had problems sitting/sleeping/living. And I’m on the 12th floor with six hours of direct sun each day, blinds and windows completely open 24/7.

    I used to sleep fully clothed with a big duvet–now, I might have some article of clothing on and a corner of a sheet over me as I sleep. I think that’s the biggest adaption I’ve made to the no-AC thing.

    Oh, and I’m in DC. Y’know, big ol’ swampy.

  2. 2 virescent June 10, 2009 at 9:30 am

    I concur- I’ve been doing these things the past couple months, and it’s worked on the handful of days it’s been really hot and muggy. I’m hoping I can power through the worst days in August with these plans, too, because I normally make it until late July then crank up the AC for a couple days in fit of childish pique (‘but it’s too HOT to LIVE, wahhhhh’). Then I feel guilty, turn it off, get hot, turn it on, etc.

    I’ve made the blanket switch too- beds look so delightfully cool in the summer without the thick comforter. I’m layering right now- the top sheet and a thin waffle weave, with a fleece in case it ever gets cool at night. Works pretty well, but on the worst nights I’m planning to take a cold shower before bed, since some days on our swamp, even unmentionables and a sheet are too hot. I’m not sure if taking a cold shower will be nice and relaxing at that point, or if it’ll just make me cold and cranky on general principle. We’ll see!

    Thanks for the ideas, and I like your blog! Mind if I link?

  3. 3 Amelia June 10, 2009 at 12:26 pm

    Oh man, I could go completely without AC – my apartment is a brick oven. But I agree that it’s important to reduce dependence. If it’s not oppressively hot outside, I can open the windows and get some cross-currents going in the evenings.

    By the way, I always take a shower at night, all throughout the year. It helps me sleep – no crankiness at all here.

  4. 4 virescent June 10, 2009 at 4:20 pm

    Nice- if you’re only at home in the evenings, Amelia, sounds like it could work well with a fan or two on you. Really the only bad thing about my apartment being warm during the day is that my chocolate bars melt, and that’s more mushy than bad. Might not work if you have pets, though.

    Do you do cold showers? I shower after the gym when I go at night, and that’s fine, but the thought of cold showers gives me the heebie jeebies no matter what temperature it is outside. It’s likely I’m just a wimp, though.

  5. 5 Kenneth Moore June 27, 2009 at 12:02 am

    Eh, I like my showers hot, my coffee steaming, and my chocolate, um… Solid. My apartment is more long than it is wide, and even though it’s a studio, there’s definitely a temperature gradient. Keep the chocolate in the fridge or in a cabinet/closet away from the source of the heat–the summer sun.

    And here’s an update: Baking a pie with my demon oven (only two settings, off and SUPER-HOT INFERNO OF DEATH) makes me sweat a LOT because I have to keep the oven door open or everything will burn. When your apartment has 75% humidity, and then it’s hundreds of degrees where you’re standing? Badness ensues.

    But, I only bake once every week or so. It’s really not hard living without heating/cooling, as long as you realize what happens when you do certain things (like bake a pie or put on a parka).

    And please feel free to link me! I’d be honoured. 😀

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