5 Cheap Ways to Stay Cool and Be Green

It’s hot in many places in the world and getting hotter. Below are 5 cheap ways to stay cool and be green at the same time. Granted in some places it is just too hot to be cool but these ideas may still help.

I’ve lived in hot climates, in homes without central air conditioning, and driven cars with no air conditioners. So, I feel I do have some qualifications to share ideas about keeping cool in hot climates.

5 Cheap Ways to Stay Cool and Be Green

  1. Stay Hydrated
  2. Open the Windows
  3. Wear a Hat
  4. Dress for Success
  5. BYOL

Stay Hydrated

About 75% of the human body’s weight is water. We lose water all the time so need to constantly replenish. Health experts recommend drinking 6 to10 8-ounce glasses of water a day to stay hydrated. During exercise or when it’s hot, we lose more water so need to drink more water accordingly. By the time you feel thirsty you are already dehydrated. Coffee and alcoholic drinks cause even more water loss. Cold soda or juice may feel cool going down but they do not hydrate like water.

Drinking water to stay hydrated seems like a no-brainer. However, busy people forget to do Author's Reusable Water Bottlethings like get up from their desk to move around, eat lunch, or drink water. Some are just forgetful. If this sounds like you, set a reminder via an old fashioned timer; or use your computer or smartphone.

The key is to always have water at hand. Stay cool; be cheap and green by keeping a glass full of water on your desk and a refillable water bottle in your purse, tote bag, or backpack.

Open the Windows

Moving air has a cooling affect even if it’s warm. To catch a cross breeze open at least two windows. Inexpensive portable fans can supercharge your cooling efforts. Blow hot air out. Bring in and circulate cool air.

Think it’s too hot to open the windows? An hour or two later it might not be. In many areas, even though it is extremely hot during the day, it cools off at night. Give the air conditioner the night off and open the windows. Stay cool, save money, and save energy.

Wear a Hat

Sun HatThe cooling affect of wearing a hat should not be underrated. Hats made of open-weave material facilitate air flow. An added benefit is reduced sun burn and wrinkles. I almost always wear a hat when I go outside during the day. Something about having my face shaded makes me feel cooler, even when it’s really hot.

Dress for Success

In the U.S., we seem to equate keeping cool with wearing the least amount of clothes possible. A synthetic tank top and shorts may not be the coolest thing to wear. Check out what people wear in countries with a lot of hot weather. Clothing is made of open-weave fabrics like cotton and linen, is loose fitting, and has sleeves and maybe even legs. Wearing clothes that breathe help you feel cool. Clothes with more coverage can also reduce sun burn.

On hot days, the temperature difference between outside and in an office can be 20, 30 or more degrees. Wear something that feels cool outside. Add layers for keeping warm if the office is cold or going to client meetings.

Don’t have any “cool” clothes in your closet? Check out sales and 2nd hand stores.


Bring your own lunch (BYOL). Lunch time is an opportunity to take a break from work and recharge your body and mind. I’m an advocate of leaving one’s desk and getting away from the office, but that doesn’t necessarily mean getting in a car and going out for lunch

Lunch Boxes by RubbermaidA car that has been sitting in the sun for 4 to 6 hours can be well over 100°F inside. While waiting for the air conditioner to start cooling down the overheated interior, the driver and passengers roast. Skip the car on hot days or any day for that matter.

Leftovers you can grab from the fridge are easy and cheap. Or for the more ambitious make your own lunch. Want to get away from the office? Put on your hat, grab your lunch and refillable water bottle, and walk to a nearby park or shaded public plaza.


Author: Linda Poppenheimer

Linda researches and writes about environmental topics to share information and to spark conversation. Her mission is to live more lightly on Earth and to persuade everyone else to do the same.

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