Beat the winter blues: Cheap and eco ways to warm up

February has become a brutal month for winter weather across the States, and I bet it is the same in other countries.

With the winter weather comes cozy indoors, but with limited income and high heat costs, cozy no longer means the same in 2010. There are many eco-conscious people out there, too, who are aware of the mainstream heating agents, aka fossil fuels, and their reported harmful effects.

So, what is a person to do when they are not only shivering outdoors, but indoors as well? Or they turn their heat off or very low down just to save a couple of bucks?

Here are some ways you can try to beat the winter chill AND the heating highrise:

  1. Get a large blanket that will insulate your body. I am not talking about a cotton comforter, even though they work well. During the winter months, you need more than that comforter. Look for down-alternative blankets (because who wants to be sleeping with goose feathers floating out and sticking to your clothes?)  If you have allergies, down isn’t your best bet, but what about those thick blankets you see under tents along the highway that feature lovely pictures of bears and eagles? I know, they look ugly, but I have one a friend got for me, and though it doesn’t match my decor, it keeps me so warm on winter nights that I don’t need my heat on to sleep without freezing to death!
  2. Wear fleecy clothing and sweats. Don’t becaught wearing your coat, scarf, winter hatand gloves in your house. Just buy some fleecy pajama pants (it’s OK that they have reindeer on them) and a fleece top to go with your outfit. Wear a cotton tank top under the shirt to make sure there is a bit of air circulation so sweating can be minimal.
  3. Drink hot tea or coffee, or maybe some soup. Drinking or eating something hot will warm you on the inside out, and in combination with the blankets and warming clothing, it will keep you toasty for awhile. Just don’t overdo it with the caffeine, or you will be running to the bathroom frequently and uncovering your little warming hut.
  4. If you have an electric blanket, use it. This method will eat up some of your utilities, but it’s a good bet if you simply can’t warm up or if your shut your heat off. More recent models have a timer, where it automatically shuts off when it’s been on too long, saving your electricity usage and preventing any fires from occurring.
  5. Cuddle with a person! Even if you are freezing, you are actually giving off a lot of heat. Men generally give off a lot more heat than women, though they may be cold like us women. But no matter the gender, just sitting under a blanket close to someone will help your body heat up. If you are single or your significant other lives farther away, invite over a close friend, and  sit close and tucked in your blanket. (I am only suggesting platonic actions.) If this fails you, cuddle with a furry friend! They might not sit as still, but you can try, because as mammals they also give off heat. They might be happy you are keeping them warmer, too.

These are some easy, eco-friendly and cheap ways to keep out the winter blues. Now, go grab the back seasons of your favorite TV show and show the couch some love!

Published in Ecotourism

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