How to Stay Cool Without Electricity



By Paleni Iyer

No electricity during a heatwave can be a complete nuisance. But, don’t worry! Hot summer days were here long here before electricity was around, and people came up with effective ways to stay cool back in the day. Let’s explore how it was done!

Keeping yourself hydrated, taking a swim, and avoiding dark-coloured clothes are the conventional methods to staying cooler. Now, how about some fresh ways that work great for you and the environment? These ways may be new to common city folk but have been used by people all over the world for generations.

1. Get a snake

Gotcha! While snakes are cold-blooded creatures, I highly doubt you could use them to cool down your house! Putting a Snake Plant (Sansevieria) indoors and if you can, in all of your rooms, can help lower indoor temperatures.

This plant is so cool in both literal and metaphorical ways because it helps remove toxins in the air such as benzene and formaldehyde, and acts as a natural air filter in your home. Snake plants are also believed to reduce the temperature in the home by at least 10°F.

Snake plant

2. Spice spice baby

Many cultures across the world make and serve their foods with plenty of spice added. But did you know that besides adding tons of flavour, spices can help keep you cool too? The heat sensation caused by spicy foods responds to the capsaicin by triggering a cooling mechanism.


3. Keep water cool using this ancient storage method

Whenever I would visit Sri Lanka, we would have a unique way of keeping water cool and fresh. My family residing in Colombo would use clay pots to keep their drinking water cool.

“Since clay is porous, when you store water in the clay pot, evaporation happens. Clay has small holes at the microscopic level through which water seeps out and gains energy from heat to become gas and gets evaporated causing the water to cool.” – Times of India

clay water bottle

4. Say Aloe to cool & smooth skin!

The use of aloe vera is not only recognised for reducing blemishes on your skin, but also for having a handful of cooling properties. A compound in aloe called aloin was found to be responsible for the plant’s anti-inflammatory benefits, which is why aloe is also great for sunburns! 

aloe vera

5. Hang dampened curtains

This one might sound strange, but by simply hanging damp curtains, a room’s temperature can be drastically reduced. As the water evaporates from the curtain or any air that blows through, will cause a natural cooling effect in your space.


There is so much to learn from traditional cultures and practices, and how humans used to live without modern cooling methods.

Let’s beat the heat this summer in a cool and sustainable way, despite the lack of fans and air conditioning during load shedding.

“Live Life Well” From the Inside Out

“Live Life Well” From the Inside Out

“Live Life Well.” What images does this phrase bring up in your head? Greenpop and Wellness Warehouse revamped Reforest Fest’s Food Village with a focus on sustainable, ethical, local, and seasonal produce.

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