On the East Coast, our news blogger has been valiantly toiling away at the Gristmill despite the heat wave. His dry dispatches have us thinking about the best ways to beat the heat. From a fan in New York:

“I live in a rather steamy studio apartment and thus far have been languishing under fans in front of the open window, lapping up ice cream, and taking many cold showers. I feel a tad guilty about the excess use of water in the pursuit of keeping cool. What’s worse — to sell out and buy an electricity-sucking air conditioner or send lots of cold water down the drain? Do you have any other chilling suggestions?”

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Read on for Umbra’s response. She gets heated over window shades and lightens up the mood by suggesting a switch from incandescents to fluorescent bulbs.

This year marks the 10th anniversary of our Ask Umbra advice column, and to celebrate, we’re pulling a favorite gem of eco-advice out of the archives each week.

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