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Sun Smarts

Posted on 04 November 2017 by sam

Without the sun, life on earth would be impossible. The sun is essential to plants and animals. We organize our days by the course of the sun, and the major Western holidays track solstices and equinoxes. No wonder so many ancient cultures worshiped sun gods! But there can be too much of a good thing. Act with intelligence to make the best use of our best resource, without letting it cause damage.

Home

It’s lovely to walk up to the house and see it dappled with sunlight streaming through the trees, but that same sun can also make the view les pretty. Over time, the sun can damage the paint on your house, causing it to fade, crack, peel, or turn to chalk. The next time you paint your house, you might consider investing in high-quality acrylic paint, sunproof paint, and even certain colors. If you’re looking to redo your outer wall or buy a new home, consider brick or rock walls, which don’t require any paint at all!

The sun can impact the inside of the home, as well. Books, paintings, and furniture that get direct sunlight often fade quickly. You might redecorate in order to extend the life of your pictures and books, and you might put less-valuable posters or the china cabinet in the spots that get a ton of sun.

Skin

Sun-protection for the skin is something we hear about all the time, and for good reason. Over-long exposure to the sun greatly increases your risk of skin cancer, causes other types of skin damage, and also causes premature aging. If you know you’re going to spend time outdoors, be sure to at least wear a hat, although it’s better if you can also wear sunscreen with a minimum SPF of 15 (although the higher the number, the better the protection!). When wearing sunscreen, reapply it every couple hours or so, especially if you are swimming or sweating hard. Different parts of the world have different UV exposure levels, too, so if you’re traveling, you may want to take extra precaution, or you might find yourself with a sunburn you thought you’d prevented. If you’re so desperate to get a tan, it is still possible to get a tan with sunscreen. But don’t let vanity put you at risk for cancer or death.

Use the sun to your advantage

Even though we should all act intelligently with the sun, it is, in the end, one of our greatest blessings. We can make good use of the sun to improve our quality of life. If you have a lovely suburban home, it’s worth investing in large windows and skylights to make use of the natural light; and you could also take advantage of having enough land to have a garden of some kind! You might consider installing solar panels, which will save you tons on your energy bill and also give a boost to the planet (the sun, unlike fossil fuels, isn’t going to run out, or create pollution). Humans require about 10 minutes of sun exposure a day to get the appropriate levels of Vitamin D.