I Haven’t Turned the Heater on This Winter — Here’s How I’m Staying Warm


I am a person who perpetually runs cold. I wear socks to bed every night (even in 35-degree heat), I constantly have goosebumps, and I always crack out the thermals in March. It’s just how I’ve always been.

Having lived out of home for a few years now, I’ve become acquainted with the old electricity bill, and after seeing the price disparity between the winter and summer months, I finally now understand why my dad would beg me to wear more layers at home rather than blast the heater all day. Dad, I owe you an apology… and probably a few hundred bucks.

This winter, though, I am proud to announce that I am yet to turn my heater on. It’s not that I haven’t felt the icy chill right down to the bone, but I’ve been making more of an effort to conserve power and reduce the footprint of my household.

My secret? The hot water bottle. It simply does not receive enough credit for how utterly effective it is at providing fairly constant warmth over a substantial period of time.

At some point, electric blankets eclipsed their popularity for nighttime toastiness while heated throws and central heating became more commonplace for daily use. But the 1903 invention of the hot water bottle was never broke, and never needed fixing, and in 2020, I’m making a strong case for you to bring it back.

I’ve become one with my hot water bottle recently and have been known to keep it on my lap as a work from home, refilling perhaps twice throughout the day. My house is icy, but thanks to my little PVC pal I am toasty and warm and saving a bunch on my electricity bills.

Now I admit the hot water bottle is not without its flaws ⁠— it doesn’t last all day and the waste of water is another obvious downside. But I’ve taken to pouring the water into my pot plants once it’s cooled as a small effort in the direction of conserving water. After a few weeks of this routine, I’m now looking into microwavable heat packs as an alternative. There’s only so much water you can give indoor plants after all.

I also know that the humble hot water bottle is not revolutionary, and I’m sorry to disappoint if you were expecting something a little more jazzy, but I write this nonstory as a reminder to perhaps pull yours out of the depths of your hallway cupboard as an alternative to blasting the heater all day.

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