WSJ: Time To Stash Your Undies In The Icebox?


Today, even the Wall Street Journal offers energy conservation advice to its readers. I guess it has gotten that bad, finally. I wish they had done so, say 30 or 20 years ago (or why not 3 years ago, when the IEA published its report called 'Saving Electricity In A Hurry', where the agency - correctly -predicted there would be more outages like those experienced in the United States, Japan and Canada).

Wall Street Journal: Pulling the Plug: Summer of '08 Sparks Creative Conservation

With electricity costs rising -- along with global-warming guilt -- consumers across the country are struggling to wean themselves from the A/C. It remains to be seen whether they'll take a cue from Marilyn Monroe in "The Seven Year Itch" and stash their undies in the icebox. But they're trying just about everything else.

In Thousand Oaks, Calif., Adina Nack keeps the thermostat at 82 -- and lets her toddler dance around the house in a bathing suit, spritzing herself with cool water from a spray bottle. Cara Cummins, in Atlanta, turns on the air conditioner only when she's expecting guests. Otherwise, she makes do by snacking on watermelon cubes soaked in chilled bourbon.

Because many power plants run on natural gas, which has shot way up in price, utilities in every region of the nation have imposed -- or are planning -- big rate increases this year, some approaching 30%.

Some of the advice in the article is good, basically similar to what the government here in Japan has told people for years. Especially - set that air conditioner to 28 C (82.4 F) instead of pretending it is winter. Personally I'm fine with 30 C (86 F) and a small fan. What do you think?

I like the campaigns here, with sumo wrestlers eyeing each other, as if to say, "any energy saving you can do, I can do better!"


At many companies, stickers are put up near light switches or faucets to remind workers to turn off the lights or to not waste water.


And at offices, you can see one guy or gal wearing the arm bracelet or badge: the "Save Energy Patrol" will make sure you don't leave that computer or copy machine on after you go home.


Images of products that can be ordered from the Energy Conservation Center in Japan. The Energy Conservation Center, Japan (ECCJ) was established in 1978 to promote "the efficient use of energy, protection of the global warming and sustainable development."

Written by Martin Frid at

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