The summer heat is on.
With only two weeks into summer, provinces in Eastern Canada are already experiencing record heat.
Are there ways to keep cool when temperatures hit over 30C and air conditioning might not be an option?
Absolutely! Get creative with some DIY ideas below to beat the summertime heat.
Drink More Fluids
Drinking enough fluid is one of the best things you can do to prevent heat illness. Canada's Food Guide recommends drinking regularly and drinking more in hot weather. A publication called Fluid for Active Canadians: Are you getting Enough? is a great resource that outlines the importance of hydration and provides guidelines for active Canadians, too. How about getting creative in the kitchen? Fill a pitcher with ice cubes, water, fruits and herbs for flavour. Try different combinations such as blackberries + mint, raspberries + cucumber, or strawberries + fresh basil. The options are endless!
Eat Fresh Foods
With so many options to choose from, you will have no issue finding the perfect fruit or vegetable to enjoy. Incorporate quintessential summer fruits like watermelon, grapefruit, orange, and berries or vegetables such as cucumber, radish, celery, and zucchini. Enjoy some of the best flavours homegrown in Canada. Use this handy chart to learn more about what's in season across the country. Not only will you stay cool, but healthy, too!
Choose breathable fabrics
Wearing light, breathable summer fabrics are perfect options to wear when the temperature rises. While cotton is one of the best fabrics for hot weather, look for articles of clothing in linen, rayon, and chambray for comfort and lightness.
Install Thermal Curtains
If there are rooms in your apartment that overheat or get too much sunshine, thermal curtains might be a game changer. There are a variety of options on the market, so it is best to do your research. If you currently have blinds or any type of window covering, keep them closed during the day to block out the heat and sun.
Purchase a Fan
Floor fans and ceiling fans provide a quick and easy cooling solution. Before purchasing one, do some research on the different types of fans, where you're going to put the fan, how powerful it needs to be, and if there are any special features you're looking for.
If you end up purchasing a floor fan, try making a DIY air conditioner. Place ice cubes in a metal bowl and place it in front of a running fan. Tilt the bowl to allow the breeze from the fan to blow onto the ice cubes.
In a pre-COVID world, shopping centres, libraries, movie theatres and public pools were popular venues to provide relief from the hot summer temperatures. The pandemic, unfortunately, has put many of these choices on hold.
So, what do you do if you have tried one of the above DIY strategies and you still cannot beat the heat?
Check online to see what your municipal government is offering in your community. Cooling stations are starting to open across the country along with city-operated swimming pools.
Do not forget to be a good neighbour. Check on other residents in your community. Let your neigbhours know that somebody is looking out for them. Even when people do not need help, they will always appreciate a quick call to know that someone is thinking of them. And who knows, they might even share a new tip or trick with you on how to stay cool this summer.