14 years without turning on the air conditioner until the blockade epidemic and terrible heat hit

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2022-07-21 01:09:15

In 2018, news site Yitiao Interview with Ms. Sherry Poon at her home in Shanghai. She and her husband and three children live in an old-fashioned house of 80 square meters.

When repairing the house, the couple tried to take advantage of nature to provide light, ventilation, and warmth. As a result, in summer and winter, the air conditioner is rarely turned on, and the electricity bill is no more than 100 yuan (nearly 350,000 VND) per month.

In July this year (2022), Shanghai suffered a heat wave of 40 degrees Celsius for a week in a row. Reporter Yitiao to Sherry’s house again.

Will the house that always kept 20 degrees Celsius in the past now be as “cruel” as it is outdoors? Or still cool like spring? 2 years after the epidemic has passed, will they still live with the concept of environmental protection?

Our “bones” are very strong

Sherry and Raefer are Canadians, living in Shanghai for 21 years. From December 2007, the two moved to an old house of 80 square meters. Up to now, the house has been more crowded, becoming a home of 5 people and 1 cat.

In 14 years, the house has not been repaired too much, because its “bones” under the hands of the Sherrys are extremely strong and healthy.

Sherry and her husband both studied architecture, so they put a lot of effort into the renovation when they first got the house.

All windows in the house were changed to double-glazed and installed as tightly as possible. In addition, on the roof, the bathroom and the attic bedroom of the two daughters are fitted with 5 skylights to provide natural light for the entire house.

Exterior walls are painted with insulating materials to minimize the impact of hot or cold days.

Just like that, the problems of the old simple house such as ventilation, light supply, insulation, and warmth are all solved. Therefore, in Sherry’s home, in the summer there is no need to turn on the air conditioner, in the winter there is no need to provide warmth, and the house is always kept at 20 degrees Celsius.

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Recently, Shanghai suffered a terrible heat wave of 40 degrees Celsius for several days. During the day, Sherry turns on the air conditioner in the living room, the whole family mainly lives here. At bedtime, turn off the air conditioner in the living room, turn on the air conditioner in the attic bedroom. In short, only one air conditioner can be opened!

The roof is equipped with solar energy, water purification equipment in the house, so it consumes less electricity.

Because to both create aesthetics and save wood materials, Sherry and her husband have designed the items in a special way, trying to create as much space as possible so that “dirt has no place to hide”.

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Tables and chairs used for more than 10 years, only replace the upper layer of leather cushion. Wooden floors and tools are all processed from pressed wood. Low cost, ensuring aesthetics, can be disassembled and assembled easily, environmental protection.

Over the years, the house is a bit old, but not too much has changed. At the most, only smooth the wood floors, the corners of the walls are peeling; exchange the refrigerator and washing machine used for ten years. After the epidemic in Shanghai is under control, the Sherrys will repair the toilet and the plumbing in the toilet.

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More than 50 days of city blockade because of the epidemic, 5 people and 1 cat roamed around in an 80m2 house. The three children study online, Raefer attends a meeting by phone, Sherry also has to work. All 5 people were talking, so the house was a bit noisy.

Most indoor air conditioners are on. Only 2 bedrooms and bathrooms have doors installed. Sherry sometimes hides in the bathroom in search of some quiet.

Later, Sherry told her husband that if she decided to live in this house for a long time, she would have to install a few more doors, and the children are grown, they need their own space.

Sherry’s house is tucked away in a small alley. To get to her apartment, the reporter had to go through the shared kitchen of 3 neighboring households. Initially, the couple decided to stay here because they wanted to learn about Chinese culture and get to know the neighbors, so they didn’t go to a modern residential area.

Usually passing by the shared kitchen, Sherry often struck up a conversation with the neighbors for a few sentences. The two sides gradually became close friends.

If they change their house in Shanghai, the Sherrys will still choose such a residential area, continuing to use environmentally friendly materials.

Epidemic blockade, is it still living in the style of environmental protection?

Raefer grew up in a rural area in Canada. The land was spacious, he had never known the existence of cramped houses, he was used to seeing the beautiful natural scenery every time he looked out the window. Later, he also participated in the greening architecture project.

Therefore, the idea of ​​harmonizing with nature and protecting the environment always appears in the life and work of the Sherry couple.

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During the blockade epidemic, Sherry was asked by many friends if she still maintains the habit of living to protect the environment? Because whether Chinese or foreigners are under the same pressure and difficulties.

Normally, Sherry goes to the market to bring her own bags, choosing foods with as little plastic packaging as possible. But after the city officially locked down, every morning at 5 o’clock she started to open her phone to buy food online, unable to control the use of plastic packaging.

At the same time, the couple also has concerns that their work will be affected by the epidemic. Three children at home learning online. Sherry always inquired and cared for them because they were afraid they would have psychological problems.

Therefore, Sherry’s family is forced to use disposable plastic items such as masks, plastic bags… Especially in this period, protecting health and maintaining optimism is the top concern. Many environmental protection living habits are really impossible to maintain.

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But according to Sherry, we can live to protect the environment in a more proactive way. For example, the daily grocery bag is kept by Sherry, can now be used outside to shop.

Many people ask Sherry to give them some lifestyle tips. Sherry all said:

“You have to choose your own lifestyle. How much money do you spend each day, where do you know where to buy things, how much free time you have, what hobbies do you have? If you are busy with work every day, it will be more difficult to take care of your life. Let’s start with small things like using soap bars instead of plastic bottles… Small actions but big impact.”

Sherry makes her own yogurt, uses fruit peels and vegetable scraps as fertilizer, makes her own soap bars, and even makes clothes for her children in her spare time.

But the pace of life in Shanghai is getting faster and faster, and it takes a lot of effort to bring a reasonable life for the family. During the difficult epidemic period, cut out petty waste, eat healthy, don’t order food online, and shop at the right time, right season, enough and necessary.

2-3 years ago, Sherry often took her children to the farm to volunteer, ate and slept on the spot, woke up and went to the fields to work and learn to be a farmer.

In fact, Sherry thinks that the epidemic makes people love nature more, prefer to go to fresh and clean places, to mingle with heaven and earth.

Sherry and her husband hope that the current way of life can plant a seed in the hearts of their children about a minimalist and thrifty way of life.. Sherry sewed clothes for her children, the two daughters saw that their mother made them, and they were also interested in doing it, so they sewed clothes for the dolls themselves since childhood, now they still use old cloth to make bags.

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With the epidemic raging, everyone is aiming for a simpler life. Sherry’s family of 5 has lived a very minimalistic life and is now even more minimalist.

You may think that a house that is so “genuine” is not minimalist. But you are wrong about the true definition of minimalism.

Take a look at the Sherry couple’s house! Every corner is extremely tidy, in harmony with nature, full of sunshine and green trees. Even the mentality of 2 adults and 3 teenagers is towards true minimalism.

(Source: Zhihu)

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