Zero Waste advocates have come up with a list of useful ideas to help Filipinos cope with the sizzling summer heat that yesterday rose to 36.4 degrees Celsius in Metro Manila
Various leaders of the EcoWaste Coalition, an environmental watchdog group promoting Zero Waste, offered no-nonsense tips to keep both body and home cool in anticipation of even hotter days ahead.
Speaking on behalf of the EcoWaste Coalition, Aileen Lucero, the network’s National Coordinator, said that “by adopting these tips and tricks, we can overcome the soaring summer temperatures and prevent seasonal diseases such as heat stroke, sun headaches and skin ailments, without swelling your electric, water and medical bills.”
To keep your body cool, the EcoWaste Coalition suggests the following:
1. Drink water frequently to keep your body temperature down and prevent dehydration; don’t wait to drink until you are thirsty.
2. Avoid peak sunlight hours, particularly between 10:00 am to 3:00 pm.
3. Stay indoors as much as possible and use an umbrella, bandana, cap or hat if you are going out.
4. Wear shades or sunglasses to shield your eyes against the intense glare of the sun.
5. Dress appropriately: choose light-colored, loose-fitting and cotton clothes that breathe easily.
6. Place a damp hand towel on forehead, around the neck and under the armpits for a relaxing cool.
7. When taking a bath, wet your underarms and extremities first before the head area; keep your shower time short to cut on water use.
8. Perform inhale-exhale exercise as often as needed.
9. Have a short, relaxing nap in the afternoons.
10. Take healthy light meals at regular intervals as big meals can make your body warm.
11. Cut down on foods high in fat, salt and sugar such as junk food, eat lots of green leafy vegetables and enjoy fruits with high water content such as pakwan, milon and singkamas.
12. Limit caffeine intake and refrain from consuming alcoholic drinks.
13. Bring drinking water in reusable jug every time you go out (and lessen consumption of bottled water).
14. Make your own healthy thirst quenchers such as juice from young coconut, melon, and even sour fruits such as kamias and sampalok, or create your own tea from pandan and tanglad leaves.
15. Be happy and think positive to keep you calm, stress-free and less irritable amid the sweltering summer heat.
To keep your home cool, the EcoWaste Coalition recommends the following:
1. Ventilate naturally by keeping the windows open and the air flowing.
2. Install blinds or shades, preferably made of native materials, to reflect the heat away.
3. Shut down blinds, curtains and draperies facing the sun to keep the sun’s heat out.
4. Open the windows at night to draw the hot air out.
5. Go and spend more time downstairs, farther from the roof.
6. If possible, paint your roof white to deflect the sunlight and keep the house much cooler.
7. Sun bleach or dry your clothes on the roof (the clothes will repel the sun’s heat).
8. Make a do-it-yourself airconditioner: place a bucket of salted ice in front of a fan.
9. Tidy up your home of non-essential things that consume space and block the air.
10. Green your home with indoor plants that can also serve as natural air fresheners.
11. Plant leafy trees around the house, or use plants, potted or planted directly into the soil, to lock off the sun.
12. Switch off all heat sources such as lights bulbs and appliances not in use; maximize the daylight.
13. Schedule heat-generating activities such as ironing clothes at night.
14. Use greywater from bathing, dishwashing and washing clothes to water plants or wet dusty pavements and streets.
15. Do not burn your discards and practice ecological waste management sans burning and dumping.