It’s winter in St. Louis, but I’m still thinking about global warming. Although I arrived at my “fair share” to prevent global climate disaster in an earlier post, and we’ve put much of that into practice, I still feel guilty about all that greenhouse gas we are responsible for from our home heating.
We keep our home a comfortable warm temperature during the day, and we don’t turn it down too much at night because we are worried about our toddler staying warm enough (she can’t seem to keep a blanket on her). I’ve enjoyed this most of my adult life, despised the outside cold, and considered winter a series of lost months spent dashing from warm enclosed space to warm enclosed space.
Last year, though, I discovered (i.e., learned what millions, if not billions, of people already knew) the secrets: layers and good socks.
Nice warm socks, and maybe some house shoes, make a colder house or the outdoors infinitely more bearable for me. And, since I’ve started adding undershirts or long underwear to my winter attire, my winter is much more comfortable.
This year, I’m challenging my family to do the same: dress a little warmer so that we can turn down the heat in the house a little bit, and save the world and our wallet a teeny bit more.
My first attempt went something like this.
Adam: “Hey, if we all just wear some extra layers, and throw some extra blankets on at night, we could turn the heat down to like 55 during the day and 50 at night.”
Mary: “Or, you could sleep outside.”
My initial efforts turned back, I proceeded with a more modest proposal: turn down the temperature in the house during the day by 1 further degree each month of the winter. We’ll make some smaller and more gradual changes, and we’ll leave the night-time setting out of the equation right now due to the aforementioned blanky shedding toddler.
To this, my most beautiful and tolerant wife was amenable, and so we started this month. We’ve added to our arsenal warm blankets set around the house. They help with the odd chill within the house, and as a makeshift cloak when standing outside in the middle of the night while our dogs sniff endlessly around for a place to relieve themselves.
And so it is this more moderate challenge that I present to you: turn down your thermostat one further degree each month of this winter. Experiment for yourself whether you can be comfortable with a little lower temperature with some slight adjustments in clothing or bedding.
If you’d like to join me, you can share your experience here in the comments, or on our Facebook Challenge page – here. Share the challenge with your friends and family.