Close That Door--You're Wasting Energy

close door photo

Photo: Close the Door

Here's an idea that is so obvious it should be a no-brainer: shut the door and save energy. The Close the Door Campaign is asking retailers to conserve energy by keeping their front doors closed.

Why do shops all over the place leave their front door wide open? Do they really think that if it's closed we won't go in?

door closed photo

Photo: Close the Door

The reason for the campaign is simple: energy waste costs money. In the UK alone, businesses spend about £1.6 billion on energy each year, of which 20% is wasted due to sloppy habits. If ­two-thirds of the nation's shops closed their front doors, the saving in carbon emissions would be the equivalent of taking more than 1.1 million cars off the road for good.

Close the Door was started by three women in Cambridge and it is spreading beyond there, to other cities. Their strategy is two-pronged, aimed at retailers and their customers.

Approaching Retailers to Close the Door:
Their approach to the retailers is to ask them to close their shop doors and display the campaign sign. The group offers answers to the obvious objections such as "it's too hot inside, the shop next door has an open door, and customers won't come in." And they have scientific research to back up their views.

Customers Can Take Action:
Customers are encouraged to approach their local stores and ask them to join the campaign, or just close their door. As well, consumers can support shops and restaurants displaying the Close the Door logo, close doors themselves or speak to the manager about it. Or boycott shops that won't do it.

rymans door photo

Photo: Close the Door

A research study commissioned by the group on the effect of open doors found that the average shop emits 91kg of CO2 each week by leaving its door open. Air curtains, a favourite of retailers, have little impact on energy use and carbon emissions--a typical one uses 24kwh per day, making them one of the biggest users of energy. The research suggests that if all retailers followed their advice UK energy usage could drop by 2.5 per cent.

The facts are all there; so the next time you go into a shop with an open door: Close the Door.

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