Change the World Wednesday, Baby it’s Cold

Small Footprints has come up with a challenge I can’t do any better on.   This week on Reduce Footprints the challenge involves heat.


I forgo cooling my house with air conditioning and even hold off on turning on the fan when it is hot.  I can take all the heat you dish at me.  But what about the cold?  As I type this it is -9F and darn cold out.



Cold is something I can’t tolerate.  My doctors have found that anything under 72F can send me into hypothermia.  But 72 is way too high for my Eco-conscience to deal with.  I have my thermostat turned to 69 and sit here with 2 blankets over my lower body, a t-shirt with a sweatshirt over that and a crocheted blanket over my shoulders.  I know the symptoms by now and know when to add even more layers to prevent my body from going into hypothermia.

This Week’s Challenge:

Lower the thermostat for Change The World Wednesday

Let’s do something a bit different this week. Many areas are currently experiencing chilly temperatures and that tempts us to crank up the heat in our homes. Here’s your challenge:

This week, turn down your thermostat by 1 or 2 degrees. That’s 1 or 2 degrees lower than where you’ve had it during this cold season. If you get chilly, put on extra layers of clothing, cuddle under a blanket or exercise.


OR …

If it’s warm/hot where you’re at, turn the thermostat up by 1 or 2 degrees.


OR …

If you don’t use a thermostat to control your home’s temperature, please share the ways in which you keep comfortable.

My choice of a small studio apartment and my body’s inability to handle the cold went hand-in-hand.  I took preventive steps to insulate the apartment once I moved here by insulating the seal around the doors, hanging heavier curtains and caulking the window.  I made draft dodgers for the bottoms of the door as well.    My apartment only has one exterior wall, one window in the entire apartment and only one door that leads directly to the elements. It was the best I could do to reduce my footprint when taking my health into consideration.

Have you been tempted to slightly turn up the heat to counteract the cold?

23 thoughts on “Change the World Wednesday, Baby it’s Cold

  1. I have 3 outside walls, 2 sliding doors and the front door and 4 more windows. I only heat the living area and keep it to 60. The managers want us to keep the place warm enough so the outside wall pipes don’t freeze. I keep lots of blankets on the couch for sitting and keeping warm. Unlike you, I don’t sweat so cold works better than hot. When I get to warm, I get sick. I feel for those with really cold temps. My daughter also feels severe pain from the cold and will be riding the train to work this week in temps down to 19 degrees. Not as bad as some but for her, quite painful. She is just delighted to have finally found another temp job for the next 3 months. The train saves gas and wear and tear on her vehicle. We are all doing the best we can but I still want some comfort in this life. I just try not to be wasteful about it. I think you have extenuating circumstances to add a little warm to your life, Call it a balance from not needing cool. Stay well my friend, stay well.


    • Marlene, how fantastic that your daughter has found work, if only temporary. I know just how she feels in the cold, 19 would cause me pain and possible health issues.

      I would love to have more windows in my apartment, but with the cold it helps not to have more to keep the apartment warmer.

      I do try to make myself feel better about my need for heat by reminding myself I don’t use AC and rarely turn on a fan, not owning a fridge, TV or a desktop computer saves on the electric too so hopefully it all washes out in the end.


      • It will balance out. Just think of those people in Las Vegas that have every light on and water running everywhere. You deserve a little heat to stop the pain. You do so much in other areas. We all try to be careful but Balance is a good word to use. I only use what I need.


        • Yes, the southwest desert is a place of waste as we talked about before. I really believe as long as we are aware of the resources we use and make every attempt to reduce them we are doing fine. Thank you Marlene.


  2. Lois, I also “can take all the heat you dish at me”–I think I’m like a cat, always seeking out the warmest spots of the house. I hate the cold, too, and haven’t been as good as I should this winter regarding the thermostat. But, as I write this, I’m wearing a wool knitted hat…so, I’m trying!


    • Joy, I’ve been called a tropical plant and the term fits as I would love a tropical climate. :-) You should see how I have bundled up during some of these really cold days especially when the heat was out. Hoods and hats with lots of blankets. It’s good to hear I’m not the only one who doesn’t handle the cold well.


  3. I found something that keeps me hot/ a temperpedic type topper for my mattress. I used to sleep with layers and layers of clothing and blankets. When we got one of these I had to wear summer gear ;-).


    • Your mattress topper, is it an electric blanket kind? I have a mattress topper partly because I was raised with one being told it helped the mattress last longer and can’t stand the feel of a mattress only covered by a sheet.


  4. We seldom turn on the heat, unless the temps are going to dip into the 40’s or below at night. We opt instead to throw more blankets on the bed or wear layers during the day. Having said that, we tend to travel only to those states with a more temperate climate.


    • LuAnn, my apartment’s only window is east facing which gets good morning sun so yes if it were only going to dip into the 40s I would be fine not turning on the heat as long as it warmed up in the morning.


  5. I don’t live anywhere with extreme cold, but I found that a lot of feeling warm with our forced air furnace is having the heat on, even if the actual temp is still cold.

    Unless it’s very cold, during the day, when we’re gone, the heat stays off. When we get home, instead of turning it up to a comfortable temperature, we turn it up 1 degree. That will make me feel warm for quite awhile, then I turn it up 1 more.


    • Christy, you have a better tolerance for the cold than I do but then again I never used heat or air conditioning when I lived in LA, and never used heat in Phoenix. Nice trick you found though to keep your body used to a cooler room temperature.


  6. Hello Lois, We recently had new windows installed, anf that has helped tremendously. My husband and I both hate the cold, but we do turn the thermos down at bedtime. We have a heated mattress pad, which feels wonderful – it’s cheaper than keeping the thermostat higher.


  7. Like you I cannot stand the cold, because of my Fibro the cold affects me terribly. I can’t imagine having to survive such cold winters! I have bought 3 feather eiderdowns over the years when I have seen them super cheap and we use those to snuggle in when it’s very cold but we are fortunate to have a logfire. I just don’t know how some people could manage their utility bills to get them through such freezing temperatures Lois :( It must be so hard for some.


    • Wendy, it’s not unheard of for heating bills to be over $500 a month for an average sized home any more. Some people say their heating bills are higher than their mortgage or rent. Many renters are at wits end with the costs especially those with limited incomes who have to rely on living in older homes that have little to no insulation and landlords who don’t want to put the money out to improve the buildings.

      We have been hearing of burst water pipes more so this year as well. I would love to find down comforters at a reasonable price, for now I simply layer blankets the added weight helps to keep me warm.


  8. Wow … thanks to you and allaboutsmall for your kind comments. You made my day! :-) I have been very tempted, this year, to turn up the heat. I tend to run hot and rarely feel cold but this year … I feel cold. But I absolutely hate turning on the heat, let alone turn it up. I have turned it on this year because the temperature, inside, has been falling beneath 60. But we’re keeping it low. We, too, use draft dodgers, both along the bottoms of doors and windows. We have a two bedroom apartment so we close off the two bedrooms so we’re only heating the space we occupy during the day. And, of course, I’m a proponent of layers … I’m currently wearing two layers of everything. It’s actually an old backpacking trick … the first layer wicks away any moisture from the body (yep, we lose body moisture even when it’s cold) … the second layer traps heat and creates a buffer between us and the cold. It works a charm!


    • I have longingly looked at my shower head and been tempted to not turn off the water while washing. I would love to turn the water to as hot as my body can stand it then just leave it running for say….20 minutes until I’m thawed out and the room is drenched with steam. I haven’t, it’s still navy showers for me.


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