Turning down the heat

(Graphic by Sarah Hall)

Whenever winter came along growing up, it was typical to see my dad turn on the furnace at full blast to keep our house at a scorching temperature.

The family would be warm and could temporarily forget that we were living in a climate that faced temperatures that were below zero.

I was all set when moving in with my roommates and living on my own: if it get cold, crank the heat.

Great idea, right?

It used to be, when I wasn’t responsible for paying the bills. However, to my horror, this tactic instilled upon my brain caused me to realize the hard way that our heating bill at my student house was bigger than my tuition.

Not really, but you get the point.

Heat is potent and all, but it can be found other ways. In university, especially living on your own, the main component of living in a house is “let’s keep our bills down as much as possible.” So, how do you do that?

In a few simple ways, your heating bill could be lower and your ecological footprint could be merely inexistent during the winter.

Not only will it become a beneficial factor to your household, but you’ll also see yourself consciously realizing what it means to be “going green.”

I’ve never really been a big fan of a heater. I believe that as much as a heater can instantly warm your house up, there are other ways to substitute that ordeal.

Blankets are a man’s best friend. No, it’s not dogs, or chocolate, or booze. It’s blankets. Blankets will always be there to comfort you no matter what. And they can also make staying warm very easy.

With a duvet or wool blanket, you can reduce the amount of heat you need to use in your house. The only problem with this is that you are more than likely going to stay in bed all day than go to class.

Another obvious component of keeping warm while not using anything that would increase your heating bill would be the science of closing your windows.

As much as the cold, fresh air may make you study better, it will also make you much colder. Try deciding on proper times to open the window to let in fresh air, but learning from me, don’t leave them open all weekend while you’re in Kingston. The temperature drops 20 degrees.

Also, try wearing more clothes. I know sometimes it could be hard, especially in the comfort of your own home, but more clothes equals less room for someone to get cold. It’s pure genius, I know.

During the winter, it could also be beneficial to use candles in rooms that don’t need light. This is different than heat, because unless you have about 60 candles per 100 feet, there is no way you will warm up the room.

Candles can lower your electricity bill, as it helps you avoid turning on lights for a couple moments and forgetting to turn them back off.

The main issue is being able to keep the bills down while finding a good way to help the earth.

Although it may not be the first thing you think of when you’re freezing at home during a snow storm, try to find new and innovative ways to help the earth while also helping yourself. Who knows, your roommates might thank you.

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