Top ten ways to stay cool without overheating your wallet

Temperatures are expected to exceed 37C in parts of the UK this week, with the Met Office warning of ‘a very serious situation’ as it issued its first red warning for extreme heat.

So, how do you stay cool without wasting precious money in the process? Here are our top ten tips for keeping cool, reducing your water usage, and saving money:

1. Let your grass go brown

Sit back, relax and let your grass go brown. There is no harm in letting your grass go brown when it gets hot and dry. Grass is resilient stuff and will bounce back fine. So don’t waste time, don’t waste water, and don’t waste money by watering your lawn. Put that sprinkler away.

2. Find your local lido or splash pad

Let’s go outside! Outdoor pools can be brilliant when it is hot and are a great way to cool down. There are more than you think around—lidos are making a comeback. Splash pads are a relatively new thing. They are big wet play areas with lots of squirting water features. They are so much fun for the kids (and for the adults too). The best way to find a lido or a splash pad near you is to do a quick search on the internet. There are many of them all over the country and they are an easy way to cool down in the summer. They can make a great family day out—a good option for weekends or the school holidays.

3. Bring on the water fight!

This is a great way to have summer fun by getting wet and cooling down without the hassle of the paddling pool. Dig out those water pistols or water balloons. This uses a fraction of the water that a paddling pool would use and is a low-cost way to have fun. It helps if you have neighbours who also want to join in.

4. Give your plants a drink that they love

Plants can get very thirsty during the summer. But did you know that they prefer rainwater over tap water? A great way to do this is to collect your rain water in a water butt and give your plants a treat they will enjoy.

5. Water plants in the evening

Like most of us, plants enjoy a drink in the evening. So be sure to give your plans a drink later on in the day when it gets a bit cooler. That means you won’t waste water through evaporation and it’s better for the plants that way.

6. Clean your car by using a bucket of water

You may feel the urge to give your car a good wash when it’s nice and sunny. The best way to do this is the old fashioned way – by using a bucket of water. So put away that hose. Using one for a carwash can use up to 500 litres of water! Using a few buckets would use less than 10% of that, which is a huge difference.

7. Avoid using a hosepipe or use one with a trigger

You may be very attached to your hose! So if you are going to use it, then use one with a trigger, which means you are only going to use water when you actually need it. This can save a massive amount of water, as hoses use around 1000 litres of water per hour. Using a trigger cuts down on water use by around 50%. It’s well worth doing and is an easy quick fix. But if you can, it’s best to avoid using a hosepipe altogether.

8. Make the most of your paddling pool

Paddling pools can use up to 3000 litres of water – that’s five times more than a family of four would use in a day. It’s an unbelievable amount of water, so it’s a good idea to make the most of it. Our top tips for not having to go through the hassle of refilling your paddling pool every day are to:

  • Get a lid for the padding pool to help keep the heat in and stop leaves and grass from falling in.
  • Place chlorine tablets in the pool to keep the water clean.
  • Use the water to give your plants or lawn a drink after you’ve finished with it.

9. Turn your hot water bottle into a cold one

Pop your hot water bottle in the freezer and let it ice up. You can then use your cold water bottle in all sorts of ways. For example, you can put it under your pillow when you are in bed. This will cool you down while you sleep and you can stay cold all night. A great alternative to leaving a fan on all night, which can save you a lot of money on energy costs.

You can also apply ice to the wrists and side of your neck to help lower body heat as the blood vessels in those areas are close to the skin’s surface.

10. Use a refillable water bottle or a jug

Finally, our favourite due to its simplicity and the satisfaction it brings. Get a refillable water bottle or a jug and fill it with tap water. Pop it in your fridge, let it chill, and then enjoy it at your leisure. Chilled tap water is delicious. It’s a cheap healthy drink that will help you cool down this summer.

Don’t buy expensive bottled water (which is also a cause of plastic pollution). Instead, use a bottle of chilled tap water and drink plenty of it to keep you cool. It’s recommended that you drink between 1.5 and 2 litres of water per day.

Don’t forget your pets. Remember to give them plenty of water to drink and a cool place to rest.

Using water in hot weather

During a heatwave, you may need to use more water than usual. Our video below explains why your water supply may be interrupted during hot weather and why it’s important to follow our tips to stay cool without wasting water.

Watch this video in Welsh