Living without Air Conditioning

I’ve never lived somewhere with air conditioning. That’s not exactly eco-boasting, as I’ve also never lived somewhere with unbearable humidity. Here in Portland, the thermostat soars past 100 degrees almost every summer, but I’m able to keep things cool—or at least stave off heat stroke—using some passive cooling techniques. Last summer my indoor temperatures reached 93 degrees, which was a bit uncomfortable, but I lived to tell about it. The worst part was having to stay indoors, as it was hotter outside than in!

This summer on the east coast, they’ve been suffering through record-breaking highs. This NY Times article highlights some of the ways city folk have battled the heat wave—such as wearing “dirt-colored clothing” to avoid doing laundry in a sweltering basement.