Thursday, January 18, 2007

Chile Ditches Neck-Ties To Save Energy

From The Globe:

Santiago, Chile -- Chile's energy warriors went for the throat on Thursday, urging men to shun neckties so that offices could ease up on air conditioning.

Government workers will not be required to wear ties or jackets in summer, and officials hope the private sector will follow suit, Deputy Economy Minister Ana Maria Correa said. Chile is a socially conservative country where men typically dress formally for work.

According to the government, 215,000 air conditioners have been imported since 1997, and during the Southern Hemisphere summer from December to March, they may account for up to 60 per cent of electricity consumption at workplaces.

The no-tie, no-jacket plan was the idea of the government's Commission for Energy Efficiency.

"We recommend all male workers drop their ties and jackets," the group's director, Nicola Borregaard said at a news conference. "We hope all sectors will follow this recommendation so it will become a national habit."

I'd probably support this even if it didn't save energy. Although I can't bitch too much personally; my company went "business casual" in the 1990s as a concession to all the employees they didn't fire.

Before that time I did the whole trip with seven different pairs of identical black pants and seven identical white shirts and seven ugly neck-ties, so I never had to think about what I wore. If you've ever seen Office Space, I looked frighteningly like the character "Michael Bolten". Now, my wife says, I look like a male model for Eddy Bauer.

And I'm helping to save the planet.

Now if only they'd let me work without pants.

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