If you live in LA, the urban heat island effect is something you probably experience on a daily basis, even if you don’t know what it means. In case the term “urban heat island” has you drawing a blank or immediately thinking of Fyre Festival’s recent Hunger Games for rich kids fiasco, here’s the lowdown on its definition: an urban heat island, or UHI, is a metropolitan area that gets hotter than surrounding rural locations because of the modification of land surfaces and energy usage. Trust me, it’ll make sense if you spend one blazing-hot summer in the Valley. Want to find out how you can beat the heat to help reduce your carbon footprint and your electric bill? Then this is the list for you:
- Throw Some Shade – Adding plants around your house can have a huge effect on keeping your home cool. Opt for drought-resistant types to save on water.
- Plant the Seed – While you’re making your home a little greener, why not plant a few trees in your community as well, by joining a nonprofit like TreePeople.
- Energize Efficiently – Using energy efficient appliances is a big step forward in reducing your carbon footprint. When buying products, look for the EPA’s Energy Star label to find the most efficient appliances.
- Start From the Top – Have your own roof or one you have access to? Create a rooftop garden, or, if you have a few extra bucks to spend, opt to install a Cool Roof. Your AC unit will thank you, and so will the environment.
- Knowledge is Power – LA may have the highest UHI effect in California, but that doesn’t mean that nothing’s being done about it. In fact, Mayor Garcetti aims to reduce the city’s temperature by 3 degrees over the next 20 years. Here’s what’s being done to change the UHI in our city and help cool things off.
If each of us makes simple changes to our lifestyle, we can help reduce LA’s Urban Heat Island. Because let’s face it, the only island we want to be on should be used in tandem with the words vacation and pina colada.