"Self-sufficiency does not mean 'going back' to the acceptance of a lower standard of living. On the contrary, it is the striving for a higher standard of living, for food that is organically grown and good, for the good life in pleasant surroundings... and for the satisfaction that comes from doing difficult and intricate jobs well and successfully." John Seymour ~ Self Sufficiency 2003

Wednesday 12 January 2011

Keeping cool the eco-friendly way

I'm going crazy with the solar recipe book - please bear with me a couple of weeks more...

We have been experiencing very hot weather in Cape Town, and I thought I would share with you how to remain cool as the outside temperature rises, without resorting to using electricity via your air conditioner.

At my back door I hang a plain sheet, which I have converted into a simple curtain, on a rod which is held in place by two small cuphooks.

A close up of the simple hanging method
When the mercury is shooting through the roof I remove the sheet (with rod in place), dip it in a bucket of water, and with the minimal of squeezing, I re-hang the sheet / curtain. The draft blowing through the wet sheet acts like an airconditioner. This could also be used on any curtain at a window (and encourage a late spring clean :-) ).  Simply wash the curtains and hang them straight from the washing machine.  If you go the 'dip in the bucket" route you would just have to squeeze the curtains a little more so that the water doesn't drip on your floor / carpet.

Secondly, when travelling in your car, have a wet towel with you. (keep it in a plastic bag until you require it.)  Open the car windows about 2.5 cms and ensure that only your fan is on (not your airconditioning) then drape the wet towel round your neck or over your legs. The damp towel will again act as an airconditioner as the air moves through it. You will thus use less petrol whilst driving (as car air conditioners increase your petrol consumption) whilst still being able to remain cool under the collar when driving :-)


  1. What a great idea with the sheet. I have to remember that if summer ever comes here.

  2. Pretty cool idea you have there Dani. I use the wet towel over the shoulders here in the summer while I'm outside. Helps a lot.

  3. What an excellent idea and I can see how it would be very effective. I will definitely remember the towel and car trick as our truck has no air conditioning and is a bear on hot days.

  4. Jane - I leave myself "post-its" on my screen - never fails :-)

    tffnguy - helps even more when you're driving and the sun isn't evapourating the water sooooo quickly :-)

    Mr H - our van also has no air conditioning - worked a treat on the way back from the farm - gave RMan instant goosebumps it was so effective :-) Just remember to keep it tied up (very) wet in a plastic bag or in a cooler box.


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