Not using heating shortens the war, and all one needs is a onesie and hot tea.
The following quote transpired at the coffee machine with a colleague who I'll address as Physicist Anonymous (PA). We were talking about the Ukrainian-Russian war. PA: “Not using my heating is my way of helping the Ukrainian soldiers in the trenches. The fewer gas we import the fewer funds Russia has. Many people around us seem oblivious to the war, as if it's something that doesn't concern us, as if we're disconnected from it. Untrue. We can and do have an impact, and people should act.”
Pleasantly surprised with that new insight I saw a challenge before me, to not use my heating all winter. The idea had it all. First and foremost it has a strong ulterior motive, and secondly it's in line with the Cynic philosophy or a minimalistic lifestyle. Which means, besides significantly lowering expenses, it curtails taking for granted our comforts. Yes, here I am yet again, rubbing our glut in our faces because most of our Western luxuries come from having partaken and partaking in colonization/exploitation. Therefore I take any chance I get to prove we can live with less and still be happy. Why should we, you ask? Because overpopulation is not a problem, but our inability to share is . If we lived like we did one hundred years ago we'd still be more comfortable than most people on the planet, but at least we'd share our riches and push humanity forward toward a place where everyone can enjoy our taken for granted comforts.
“There is no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothing.” As summer temperatures gradually shift towards winter's, simply adding extra layers of clothing becomes less effective. Coincidentally my significant other bought a onesie and I immediately knew I needed one as well. My goodness does it work wonders. Like a space suit, without the opening at the waist it limits the amount of cold air that gets inside. At approximately 10 ℃ I only had to wear, including my onesie, another yoga pants, two socks, a T-shirt, a hoodie, and a body warmer. Add to that some intermittent squats and I was good to go. Oh, tea, I forgot about hot tea. Indispensable. Not only does it warm up the body from the inside, the cup heats your hands. Without doing so the fine motor skills such as typing, writing, or playing the piano become unenjoyable*.
To prove I'm actually not using heating, here's the graph of my living room thermometer from 19 November 2022 until 24 January 2023.
—image: screenshot of the monthly temperature and humidity graph within the SwitchBot app.
In 100% of the cases so far I heard “I couldn't do it, that's really cold.” Honestly though, it's not
that bad; don't underestimate your body's adaptability and tenacity. As I am writing only my feet are cold, which I adapt to quickly as I don't need them for sedentary activities. It can prevent you from falling asleep as fast though. Anyway, lower your expectations and you'll be fine . However, if you plan on doing sports, do warm up, including your feet. Shadow boxing is remarkably effective.
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* Stealthily walks away—as if I play the piano.
Letting your home become too cold can result in water damage due to leaks caused by large temperature shifts that stress whatever material your house is built with, including pipes. As for the humidity, I did buy a thermometer slash hygrometer and can attest that not using heating requires conscious effort to regularly ventilate. Long term excessive humidity can lead to mold which is unhealthy and downright looks disgusting. If I was not able to decently control my microclimate I wouldn't hesitate to forego the challenge. However, I'm fortunate enough that my living room temperature rarely drops below 11 ℃ even though it's freezing outside. Check yo self before you wreck yourself .
In case you take on this challenge as well, consider the frequency and fortitude of your visitors. Fortunately mine have been strong willed and understanding enough not to make me break my streak. It's also a good reason to directly get cozy under the sheets. Additionally, not using hot water was not part of the challenge, so I do not mind people taking a hot shower. Some kind of compromise at least, even though—humble brag incoming —I predominantly still take ice cold showers. Find out for yourself how far you're willing to go in alienating people. After all, my house, my rules. Wait… I recognize that nonsense!
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