Monday, June 25, 2012

Air Conditioning and Afternoon Coffee

It's hot.
Really hot.
Like, 95 degrees hot with a forecast of 100 for the next two days.
I do not like heat.

I am, however, completely terrified of climate change, so I refuse to jack up the air conditioning. That, and my distaste for heat is over-ridden by a distaste for a high electric bill. The use of air conditioning is a huge global environmental crisis (see here for more on why a/c gasses are even worse than co2) and one that we should all be considering in our daily lives. One step we took last year was to participate in a program offered by our utility company, wherein we received a free programmable thermostat (with free installation) for the trade off that during the peak energy consumption hours of summer our a/c would cycle off in 15 minute increments, still allowing the fan to run. We haven't noticed the difference, but it is making an impact on our over-extended power grid.

My main struggle is not "to use or not to use" the a/c. I generally keep the thermostat at 84 during the day, but since I'm working from home this summer I've been guilty of turning it down to 82. This isn't an issue of comfort, in fact I prefer to keep the interior temperature warm in summer and cool in winter, so as to prevent illness and allow myself to acclimate to the outdoor weather, but rather the issue is one of afternoon drowsiness. So, my solution is to make iced coffee.

I make a full pot of coffee on the weekend, allowing it to cool, and then store it in a re-used glass bottle that I keep in the fridge. When that 3 p.m. feeling hits me, I pour up some coffee, mix in a bit of soy milk and some sugar, toss in a few ice cubes, and I'm good to go. Yum.

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