Feeling hot and sticky and in need of some cool relief? There are plenty of savvy ways to beat the heat without leaving air-con or a fan on all day and night. Check these out. 

1) Have a stash of your own iced sweet treats 

For staying at home or for going out for a picnic, now is the perfect time to prepare some ice-cool treatsYou’ll need some ice lolly moulds to pop in the freezer overnight (you can get creative with leftover yoghurt pots and tubs if you don't have any!) and you can freeze smoothies, fruit juice, or squash into a refreshing ice-pop! Try these home-made waste-free ice lollies made with yoghurt and fruit or this vegan ice cream made from ripe bananas 

2) Ice ice babrock the mic like a fan-dal. 

Air conditioning is expensive and energy-intensive. Give a regular fan a chilly boost by putting some ice in front of it, and it will help cool down the room quicker. Don’t have a fan or saving electricity? A spray bottle filled with cold water can give you refreshing spritzes throughout the day. 

3) Drink up 

Hydration in hot weather is really importantwater keeps your body temperature from overheating. Storing jugs or water bottles in the fridge for refreshments can save water and money as you don’t have to run the tap until water goes cold (splashing away 6 litres per minute). For a cooler caffeine hit, forget Dalgona, and sip a shakerato ice coffee or an iced tea.  

4) Try using frozen fruit as ice 

Want a frosty drink but lost the tray for making ice cubes? No sweat. Frozen grapes and other fruit can be a good swap for cubes and infuse water with flavour. @oddboxldn has a tip of freezing orange or lemon peels to add to water for a zesty twang 

5) Can’t stand the heat, get out of the kitchen 

Literally - go outside for BBQs and outdoor cooking! Cooking indoors means turning on hobs or the oven, both of which heat up your home. Cold pasta, salads, sandwiches, crudités and dips are light summer dishes that save switching on any hot elements.  

6) The early bird skips the warm 

Need to feel the burn but don’t want to get burnt? Exercising or strenuous activity early in the morning, which is the coolest part of the day, can stop you from overheating and dehydrating. But if you have to move around at the hottest time of day, a wet towel around your neck or a wet bandana or hat on your head will do wonders keeping you cool and keeping off the sun.  

7) Protect your skin... and the coral reefs 

If you’re likely to catch some serious rays it’s best to protect your skin and layer up with sunscreen. But it turns out a chemical (benzophenone-3commonly found in sunscreen lotions is damaging to a whole range of sea life. Find out about SPFs that are good for your skin and the sea with this list of 8 eco sunscreens from the Independent.  

8) Lay low in the shade 

As hot air rises, the upper floors of a home can be warmer than the ground floor, so a basement can be a cool refuge in hot weather. Chilling out under a tree combines the benefits of staying low to the ground, being in the shade and the water released by trees into the air that absorb heat. 

9) Not-hot water bottle 

Feeling hot and sticky and can’t sleep? Go one better than the cool side of the pillow and flip your hot water bottlefill it with cold water, or store it in the fridge, before taking it to bed to keep you cool and conked out.  

10) Windows of opportunity 

Open your windows to seize the cooler air of the night and early morning to get a fresher breeze circulating around your homeClose windows and shutters during the daytime, especially those facing the sun. If you have shades or awnings, these are extra handy for keeping out the heat of the morning or afternoon sun.  

Speaking of sun...  

We’ve got plenty of winning recipes for warm weather, from plant-based barbecues to zero waste picnics. Check them out below.  

  PICNIC AND BBQ INSPO