How Tempe Copes with Heat

To find out how people cope with the heat in Arizona I went about my neighborhood and looked into trash cans and a few other more obvious places.


This is what I found.

Hydration matters. I found a number of large styrofoam glasses of soda in every trashcan I looked into. I even saw one balanced on the dashboard of a vehicle. Chilled beer was the second most popular drink, Gatorade and good old water came in third.

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These photographs were captured at different times of the day. The parking lot had discarded soda cups, water bottles, and water bottles at seven in the morning. The community trash cans were photographed late in the evening and the bus stops trash cans were photographed around noon on two separate days.

Sunglasses and hats/caps offer much needed physical protection from heat. I found hats and caps to be popular with older citizens and children; sunglasses are popular with all age groups. Flip-flops are popular too.

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The pool is the go-to place in the evenings and on weekends, even when it was cloudy for a few days.

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Misting systems were operating till late in the evening and offered respite to patrons. Earlier in the day people chose to sit inside the restaurant and enjoy the air conditioning but in the evening families enjoyed the cool mist while having dinner. IKEA’s misting system worked all day till seven in the evening.


The two most popular ways to cope with heat: fluids, preferable chilled. and shade.

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