Welcome to Green Boot Camp

Welcome to Green Boot Camp blog, a 52-week program to help you become a greener you in 2008. This is the companion blog to The Lean Green Family (formerly Suddenly Frugal).

Monday, June 23, 2008

Week 23--Acting Shady

Today is another 90 degree, summer day, and though I just returned from the food shopping, I didn't have to turn the car's air conditioning on at all during my drive home. Why? Because I managed to park my car in a shady spot. This allowed my car to remain cool even though I was in the store for almost an hour and the mercury was pushing 90.

The same shady principles apply to your home. If you've got shade trees planted on your property, you know what I'm talking about. They usually allow your home to remain cool even when it's boiling hot outside. If you don't have shade trees and you're looking to redo your landscaping, then think about planting some deciduous trees on the southern and eastern sides of your home-- the sides that get the most sunlight during the days.

FYI, deciduous trees are those that lose their leaves when the weather gets cooler. Evergreens, on the hand, stay green all the time and don't lose their leaves, thus their name ever green.

Having deciduous trees in your yard not only helps your home to stay cool during the warm-weather months, but, when they lose their leaves in winter, they help with temperatures, too. That is, without their leaves, these trees let more sunlight get to your home and can help warm things up without turning up the heat.

If you don't have any of these shade trees to work with, then you can create shade by closing shades, curtains and blinds during the hottest parts of the day. This way your home won't bake when it's hot outside, and you won't have to crank the a/c to cool down a room that's burning up from sunlight.

So this week on Green Boot Camp, I'd like you to think about ways that you can create "shade" to keep your home and car cooler. On sunny days try to close up the house so that the sun can't get in and the cool air can't become warm air. Similarly, when you have to run errands, find a shady spot to park your car so it will stay cool while you shop. Of course, finding a shady spot may mean that you have to park further away from the stores than you'd like, but it never hurts to squeeze a little extra exercise.

1 comment:

Debbie said...

More ways to shade a house:
* shutters
* awnings
* a trellis a few feet away
* in a pinch: tin foil (sponge the window with water to help it stick, then hold it up with tape)

To shade a car:
* clean out your garage so the car fits in there
* build a carport
* there are cardboard or silvery shades you can put on your windshield and hold up with your shades

Shade yourself:
* a hat
* a shaded route, even if you have to walk further