Beat the heat, now and in the future

Ok, it’s hot right now in Northwest Oregon. Unusually hot. Unusually hot for several days in a row. But how unusual will it be in the future?

Today, the state of Oregon averages fewer than five days a year above 95°F. But in the future, that average is expected to increase by 3-6 more days—and even more than that in Southern Oregon. Factor in the trapped heat that lingers after a series of hot days, and preparing for a cooler future starts to seem like a good investment.

When it is truly hot, the most urgent concern is to get cool—especially for kids, pets and vulnerable older adults. See cooling centers across Oregon for 2017. But when it’s cool enough to think ahead, you might consider making some investments in a cooling future.

Create shade: Experts say that quality shade can cool an area by as much as 15 degrees. Anyone who has gone hiking in Oneonta Gorge on an 80 degree day has experienced this startling reality! A few degrees may not seem like a lot, but they can mean the difference between sweaty discomfort and heatstroke risk. Consider whether trees, arbors with vines, or other cooling structures might be right for your home.

Think cool when you renovate: The choices you make about roofing, pavement and landscaping can make all the difference in keeping your home cool. But even if you aren’t prepared to make major changes to your space, consider weatherizing. A weatherized home not only keeps the chill out in the winter, but can keep your home far cooler in the summer. Take OEC member Bill Sweat as an example. When renovating his space at Winderlea Vineyard, he utilized slab floors that collect heat and give it back during the day, providing a warming effect in the winter, while also containing heat, which provides a cooling effect in the summer. OEC’s Climate Director, Jana Gastellum, redid her roof with Energy Star rated shingles for a cooler roof that reflects heat back on hot days.

Clean up your own air: Hot, sunny, stagnant days can create air quality problems, as can the forest fires that go along with hot, dry conditions. Forest fires don’t even have to be nearby to affect our local communities; we’re seeing this with our current heat wave as the Portland area experiences smoky, stagnant air from British Columbia wildfire smoke blown south. So, one way to prepare for bad air days is to make clean air choices for your own home: cleaner-burning wood stoves are the way to go in winter. When it’s too hot to cook indoors, a cleaner-burning outdoor grill may be a great investment.

Get your fans and air conditioners in order: Fans work best when designed to draw hot air out and also circulate air to help people feel cool. You can design your system in advance to get the most out of your fans. Investing in a new, more efficient air conditioner may also be a good idea, especially if you live in hot urban areas or have kids, pets or older adults who may be more vulnerable to heat.

Be ready to be a good neighbor: The Centers for Disease Control has a lot of great suggestions for ways to plan for heat emergencies. One is to think through your plan for helping your neighbors. Are there kids, older adults or pets in your life that may be more vulnerable? Consider keeping a list of who to check on, and know ahead of time whether there are cooling centers or other community resources you can offer.

On a cooler, lighter note: Oregon is lucky to have a wealth of mountains, waterways, and coastline where temperatures are delightfully cool. If you’re lucky enough to visit them, take a moment to celebrate! As a member and supporter of OEC, you are doing your part to maintain the Oregon we love well into the future.

Related Posts
Filter by
Post Page
Living Green Featured Transportation Solutions Policy Toxics-Free Environments Air Quality Climate Protection Media/PR/Statements OEC News/Updates/Events
Sort by

Reduce, Reuse, Re-think: The future of recycling

In case you missed it: China is restricting imports of U.S. waste material. Headlines about the
November 7, 2017, 12:44 am
jenc

9

Transportation bill offers key pieces for Oregon’s future + more work to be done

The Oregon Legislature’s Joint Committee on T
June 1, 2017, 4:03 pm
amyl

9

B-Line Sustainable Urban Delivery: Moving Portland Into the Future, Today

B-Line Sustainable Urban Delivery is a company unlike any other operating in the US today. Founded in 2009 by Franklin Jones, the idea for this Portland business came to him as he rode by bike from Japan to Ireland. Traversing continents, Franklin rode through cities of all shapes and sizes, experiencing the varied ways different cultures deliver goods and manage logistics. He saw that many cultures utilize
May 3, 2017, 4:14 pm
devond

9

The Future of Clean Energy Is Bright: How Oregon Solar Could Go from 1% to 10% in 10 Years

It’s an exciting time to be alive. From amazing medical developments, like bionic prosthetics and the ability to grow entirely new organs from stem cells, to advancements in technology that have enabled us to find ice on Mars and break the petaflop barrier, and expansions in clean energy technology that have resulted in its widespread availability and affordability – we’re living in a fast-paced, constantly developing world. When it comes to
April 24, 2017, 8:33 am
devond

9

Put people first when mulling transportation’s future

Originally featured as a guest editorial in the Forest Grove News Times. Written by Devon Downeysmith, Climate Communications & Outreach Director, Oregon Environmental Council.
October 10, 2016, 7:04 pm
admin

9

A Green Financial Future – for OEC and everyone

What do you do when your money and your values are working against each other? That was the question that faced the employees of OEC when we took a closer look at our existing retirement plan. As a responsible employer, OEC offered a diversity of retirement investment options for our staff. Despite the variety, however, few of the available investment options were screened to ensure they match our values – values like protecting clean air, clean water and a healthy future for e
August 16, 2016, 6:58 pm
admin

9

5 Things to Love About Oregon’s Solar Future

We know that the Clean Electricity and Coal Transition Bill is great news for Oregon. It’s a historic measure that transitions our state’s electricity grid off of coal-fired power, replacing that power with clean, renewable energy. The bill has placed a major spotlight on Oregon, highlighting just how meaningful climate progress can be achieved. Our state may be small in size, but as the first state to ever take legislative action to go coal-free, we’ve proven just how mighty Oregon can be.
April 6, 2016, 9:47 pm
devond

9

Future’s So Bright Gotta Wear Shades! Celebrating a Coal-Free Oregon

Our small state is doing big things, and making national (and even international) headlines for it! Oregon recently became the first state EVER to take legislative action to go coal-free. Oregon Environmental Council was
March 25, 2016, 5:52 pm
devond

9

A Clean Future Starts Here

Every day in Oregon, polluters dump waste into our air and water at no cost to their bottom line. If they are going to use the resources we all share – our air, our livable climate and plentiful water, the Oregon Environmental Council thinks these polluters should at least pay the true cost. We already see the damaging effects of climate change posing a risk to our natural areas and Oregon industries like shellfish, agriculture, and snow-based tourism. Asthma rates are in
May 14, 2015, 7:47 pm
admin

9


No Replies to "Beat the heat, now and in the future"


    Got something to say?

    Some html is OK