Thursday, June 30, 2011

Kiddie Pool for 節電

There is a new word in my vocabulary this year - setsuden 節電.  It can be translated at conserving electricity.  Thanks to the disasters this spring we are facing a few unexpected challenges this summer.  The biggest is staying cool in one of the hottest years on record. If as a collective we (Tokyo) don't cut 15% of our power usage then there will be blackouts during the hottest hours of the day.

So, if you have kids how can you stay cool without wasting power?
The kiddie pool...
and 水まき (spreading water on the ground)
To help avoid heat exhaustion, which is a real concern this year, we set up the sun umbrella and use the pool mostly during the early morning and late afternoon while it is in the shade.  Since the kids love pouring water we also water all the concrete and blacktop around our house.  It is a Japanese tradition to do this and it actually helps lower the temperature of hard surfaces.  Every little bit helps!

This year I picked up the wooden deck pieces to add to our pool set-up.  They are 30 cm x 30 cm squares with a plastic back frame which allows them to connect together.  The water can drain through and run off.  We have just enough of them to make a sitting space outside the pool.  With Mega being so little it is great to have a cool and non-slippery surface for her to play on next to the pool.

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