It’s the middle of winter, which means that many students are steadily turning into icicles in barely-heated houses. EnviroSoc is at hand with a few environmentally-friendly tips to help keep you reasonably unfrozen…
Take inspiration from lizards. Gravitate towards the sunniest rooms in the house – if your kitchen is sunny in the morning, and your lounge is sunny in the afternoon, follow it. Of course, sometimes this is impractical – trying to write your dissertation in the bath because it’s the sunniest spot at 11.37am is a bit daft. But making the most of free sources of heat makes sense – and lizards seem to do OK.
Wear men’s jumpers. One hint for female jumper-wearers – for some reason, men’s jumpers are always warmer than women’s ones. This is probably due to outdated but stubbornly-entrenched sexist ideas about men being out in the fields wrestling cattle and women staying inside to cook and clean…Anyway, there’s nothing wrong with wearing men’s jumpers – they’re warm, and nobody’s going to judge you. (If they do, you can just rant at them a little bit about outdated but stubbornly-entrenched sexist ideas. Always works.)
Seek warm places. Your house may not be heated well, but other places are – so you might as well take advantage of their merciless energy usage. Go and work in the library; take a book and spend the afternoon in a coffee shop; befriend someone with all-inclusive bills and install yourself in their beautifully warm house/flat (though not in an exploitative way, obviously…)
Defeat draughts: Make your own draught excluders by stuffing old socks or tights with scraps of material or kitchen roll. This both saves your old hosiery from going to landfill and keeps your house warm. The shape of draught excluders can also cause endless mirth, particularly whilst drunk.
Draw your curtains shortly before it gets dark – this minimises the amount of heat lost through the windowpanes during the night.
Leave your oven door open after using it – the remaining heat will dissipate out and keep your kitchen a little bit warmer for a while.
Have a house party. Sadly this is less of an option for us beleaguered third-years who barely remember what human contact feels like…but younger students, take note. When lots of people get together in a confined space, things get hot pretty quickly – and not just in a metaphorical way.
Of course, there are, ahem, various other methods that students commonly use to keep warm…but the suggestions above are both more reliable and less needy.
Emma Lock, Education Officer