07/08/2012 12:32 EDT | Updated 09/06/2012 05:12 EDT

Eco Ways to Beat the Heat This Summer

I live in Toronto and right now I feel like I am going to melt. It's hotter than Haiti and many people are trying desperately to beat the heat. Here are a few things that you can do to help.


Turn of anything that is not being used, TVs, radios, computers and lights.

Keep your window blinds closed and all doors leading to the exterior shut as well.

Invest in hemp sheets; hemp helps regulate the body's temperate by drawing moisture away from your skin. Trust me these babies will help you sleep a little easier.

Along with the hemp sheets, go with buckwheat pillows. Air circulates thought buckwheat, helping to keep your head cool, you can also place the pillow in the freezer for an added cool boost.

I travelled through Malaysia years ago and lived with a wonderful family, they used to sleep on bamboo (you can also use straw) mats to help keep cool at night. I found these to be really helpful as you don't stick to them like you would sheets when you are sweating during the night. You can pick these up in China Town.

Reduce the indoor temperature in your home by investing in reflective curtains. Really good ones can reduce indoor air temps significantly, they are worth the money.

LED light bulbs will also help reduce the indoor temp, regular light bulbs give off a lot of heat, LEDs don't and you will also save on your electrical bill each year, so it's a win-win.

I am sure you have heard this before, but a programmable thermostat is a must, it will allow you to control the temperature in your home. The Eco Bee unit is amazing, not only does it do that will also tell you how much energy you are using and give you tips on how to reduce. It also has an app, so you can control the temperature of your home when you are out. They claim you will also save about 20 per cent in energy costs each year. So cool.

Ceiling fans are a must, but only turn them on if you are in the room. The Turbo-Aire fan from Home Depot is really good. For really hot nights you can put a bowl of ice in front of the fan to create the illusion of an air conditioner, trust me it works.


The outside of your home is just as important as in the inside when it comes to keeping cool.

Shade trees on south and west facing windows can reduce the indoor temperature by 12- 20 degrees Celsius, that's significant and its going to save you money on electric bills too. Vines and climbers are also very efficient.

Awnings are a big investment but they are going to help keep windows shaded and the result will be reduced indoor temperatures.

Finally, if you live in a house, don't use the dryer at all this summer, get a really good clothes line. It will help you save money, reduce the stress on the gird and your clothes will actually last longer.