Sustainability: Winter is coming

With the chilly season heading our way and our electricity bills set to rise (again), this winter is a good time to bed down with the hot water bottle and use other old fashioned warming methods to keep the goose pimples at bay.

Body Warmth

So it may not be sane to have the kids sleep in the same room as the parents, but it is definitely warmer for every body. Our body temperature starts to dip at night to prepare for sleep and doesn’t warm up again until 4am. The ideal room temperature for a comfortable night’s sleep is 21C. If your room is draughty and you’re single, you could always opt for a spooning partner, which is cheap and mutually beneficial.

Wear a hat

Surprisingly none of the Men of the Night’s Watch wear hats. Up to 40% of our body heat can be lost through our heads (although some scientists dispute this and say it depends of the surface area of your head). In any case wearing a nice woolly hat that covers your ears keeps warmth in and hides bad hair.

Hot water jars

Glass baby food jars can be filled with hot water and can warm little kids’ hands. We used to carry secret glass jars of water in our pockets on the way to school and they can keep hands nice and toasty for up to 30 minutes. Be careful to temperature test everything before giving to children.

The humble hot water bottle

If you don’t have one, get one. Much better than socks to bed, the hot water bottle is a great source warmth and comfort. Make sure you put it into your bed about 20 minutes before you are about to hit the sack for extra mmmmmm.

Plug up draughty windows and doors

There are a wide variety of sealants and adhesives on the market that are cheap and easy to use. Once you have identified where cold air is coming in, a simple solution is stuffing cotton wool balls between any gaps. This is a good idea if you are renting and are unsure of what changes you can make to the property. I once lived in warehouse with 20 windows and although it took forever to plug and unplug a million cotton balls, it did actually work. All front and back doors should have a door snake – if you don’t have one, make one.



How to make a door snake from old socks

  1. Grab a pair of old socks. Big football socks are good. If you only have smaller socks you may need two or three pairs.
  2. If there are holes in toes that is fine or fabric is worn cut off the feet with scissors. Turn inside out.
  3. Sew end together with strong wool (bright colours work best). Sew open sock end with other sock (also inside out), then turn whole sock snake with outer facing.
  4. Stuff sock with sand, old fabric, rice, Dacron, kitty litter, popcorn kernels or anything sturdy.
  5. Sew up end.
  6. Add button or stick on eyes and cheesy snake smile.

Cindy Mullen