It’s suddenly got really chilly over the past few days so I thought I’d share some eco-friendly ways to stay warm. Environmentally (and financially) just cranking up the central heating isn’t an option – we keep it on a timer with the thermostat set relatively low. On really cold days we might put it on for an extra hour but generally we stick to an hour in the morning and an hour and a half in the evening.
1. Wear lots of layers – layering up with vests, t-shirts, long sleeved tops and a jumper helps to trap your body heat. I have even resorted to putting on my dressing gown over my normal clothes!
2. Wear slippers – I suffer from chilblains so warm socks and slippers are an absolute must. Sometimes I wear a couple of pairs and I have a really toasty pair of alpaca wool socks that are great for putting over the top of normal socks.
3. Eat warm food – warm yourself up from inside by eating some warming food. Porridge for breakfast is great for keeping you full. I’m a big fan of soup too. On a Monday I make a big pot of ‘leftover’ soup using the leftover veg from the Sunday roast, the leftover passata from Friday’s pizza plus any other veg that’s sitting in the fridge and looking a bit sad. Add in a stock cube (or you could make your own stick if you’ve roasted a whole chicken) and some salt and pepper and let it simmer for an hour or so. I use a stick blender to whizz it all up once it’s cooked.
4. Close the doors – this is really simple (yet remarkably hard in my house) – avoid drafts by keeping the doors closed, especially the doors to any rooms that aren’t used often. If you don’t use the room a lot you could help keep the drafts out by using a draft excluder.
5. Close the curtains – my granny always used to draw all the curtains as soon as it started to get dark and I do the same to try and keep the heat in. In some rooms we’ve got a blind which helps to act as a bit of extra insulation.
6. Use a hot water bottle – I love my hot water bottle and if I know I’m going to be sitting and working for a while I often make myself a hot water bottle and sit with it on my lap. One of my cats makes a good alternative!
7. Use extra blankets and throws – as with wearing lots of layers, extra blankets on the bed help to trap the heat.
8. Open the oven door – if I’ve been using the oven I usually leave the door open after I’ve finished(and turned it off) which helps to get a little extra warmth in the kitchen.
9. Keep active – if you can try to keep moving so that your body doesn’t chill down too much. Since the first lockdown I’ve been trying to start the day with a Joe Wicks workout which is a great way to warm up.