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Thursday, January 31, 2019

Top 6 Tips to Get Through the Winter: Lessons from Nature


A red male cardinal on a tree branch in winter

With record-breaking winter temperatures in parts of the U.S. this week, climate change is bringing a different kind of winter than many are used to. Winter storms may be more frequent or more intense. Cold snaps can take everyone by surprise, and then quickly end.   

Thousands of years ago, humans took their cues from the animals around them—building shelters, increasing their wrappings, and staying out of the weather as much as possible. This helped them survive and often thrive during the cold. Today, we can do the same to get through the winter as comfortably and safely as possible. 

Here are our top six tips to make it through the winter, making the most of lessons from nature! 

Know What Weather is on its Way: Some animals are tuned to anticipate weather by sensing changes in the air or environment around them. As humans, we can stay aware of what weather is coming to plan ahead for it. This list of weather forecasting tools, compiled by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), makes it easy to find reliable resources you can use on your mobile device or computer. 

Stay Inside and Hibernate: Of course, we can’t just all sleep through the day, but when possible, stay inside and finish tasks like traveling and errands during daylight hours. This helps conserve energy in how your body responds to the cold. 

Don’t Waste Energy: Examine how you use your home and work areas, and then maximize your energy by heating only the areas you need, perhaps using space heaters instead of cranking up the heat for your entire living space. A smart thermostat can help you stay comfortable while minimizing your energy costs. 

Bulk Up and Bundle Up: Take a cue from seals, whales, and songbirds and increase your own body’s insulation in the winter: put on an extra sweater, a scarf, or warmer socks to keep your core temperature regulated. Dressing appropriately for the weather allows your body to adapt and adjust naturally. Moving in between overheated air and the stark cold of outside air weakens your immune system and can leave you vulnerable to more frequent or virulent illness. 

Weatherproof Your Nest: Like a beaver packing mud in between the wood of her dam to keep out the cold, keep all the warm air in and the outside air out. Make sure your home is as energy-efficient as possible by getting a professional energy audit or by conducting one yourself. Feel for drafts around doors and windows and reinforce insulation. These steps will save energy and money spent on energy usage. 

Choose a Cleaner Fuel for Your Home: Animals work with nature, not against it, to stay warm in the winter. Similarly, if people take advantage of renewable energy sources like wind and solar instead of dirty fossil fuels, the world will be a more energy efficient and cleaner place. 

The benefits of renewable energy are many. One benefit for consumers is that clean, renewable energy from solar and wind is a pollution-free way to heat our homes. 

If your household uses natural gas to heat your home, you can still switch to clean energy for non-heating electricity needs like lights, cooking, and appliances, to help keep the planet from warming further, and to protect future generations from the impacts of climate change. 

Choose CleanChoice Energy, and help the country transition away from fossil fuels to clean wind and solar. Learn how you can switch your home to 100% pollution-free clean energy!


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