While I would argue that we never need AC in New Hampshire, heating our houses to at least 55 degrees in the Winter is usually a must so that pipes (and people) don’t freeze. But how can we keep ourselves comfortable and even cozy without turning up the thermostat? The answer, I think, is eco-hygge.
What is hygge? If you’ve somehow missed this wonderful word, “hygge” (pronounced hoogah) is a Danish and Norwegian word for “a mood of coziness and comfortable conviviality with feelings of wellness and contentment” (thanks, Wikipedia).
Hygge usually brings to my mind a cup of hot cocoa, a warm fire, some wool socks (not the scratchy kind), good friends or a good book, and maybe some quiet music in the background. All wonderful things on a chilly New England (or Scandinavian) day.
What do we need to do to prepare for the coming months so we can stay cozy and warm without using a ton of fuel and wasting unnecessary of resources? Prepare your Eco-Hygge Survival Kit now so you’ll be ready when it gets chilly.
ECO-HYGGE SURVIVAL KIT CHECKLIST
(As always, please don’t jump to your amazon page or run to Target if you are missing something from this list – Ask around, shop used and local, or make do with what you have on hand!)
FOR EACH FAMILY MEMBER:
- Soft wool socks (If you don’t have any good ones, I recommend Darn Tough socks from Vermont or Solmate recycled socks).
- Warm slippers (I have had my Glerups for four years and they are amazing. Worth the investment!)
- A cozy sweater, fleece, or shawl (basically a portable blanket)
- A favorite mug for tea, coffee, or hot chocolate
- Wool blankets and/or down comforters for the beds
- We have been known to imitate the pioneers and send children to bed with a hot water bottle for their feet.
FOR THE FAMILY
- Warm throw blankets for the couch
- A place in the sun – try to situate the couches, breakfast table, etc in sunny places in the house to maximize natural solar heating
- Beeswax candles to warm the mood
- An upbeat playlist to get everyone dancing
- A list of everyone’s favorite cookie and bread recipes (leave the oven door open afterward to make use of the heat)
- Soup and casserole recipes to warm up your insides
- A warm drink center with mugs, loose teas, hot cocoa, coffee, etc
- Shovels, sleds, skis, snowshoes… a cool house feels warm after a fun afternoon out in the snow
- Winter reading, listening, and watch list for those long snuggly afternoons on the couch
- (Post-COVID, it’ll be great to visit libraries, coffee shops, and other “third places” to enjoy the shared warmth of a public space again)
FOR THE HOME
- The most effective way to cut down on your heating, is to winterize your home. Read this article to find out how my mom winterized her home to cut down on her carbon footprint and save money.
- Stop cold air leaks with heavy curtains, thick rugs, towels under the doors.
- Close off any rooms you don’t need to heat. Three season rooms, garages, porches, guest bedrooms, etc can all be left cold as long as they don’t have water pipes.
- Keep the doors and windows closed as much as possible. Heavy curtains should let in warm sunlight, but be closed at night.
Join my family as we challenge ourselves to keep the heat off as long as possible. We succeeded in staying AC free this summer, let’s see if we can keep warm without turning up the heat this winter!
How do you stay warm in Autumn and Winter?