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Solutions & sustainability - July 8

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Many more articles are available through the Energy Bulletin homepage

Should you dress down to beat the heat?
Be cool at work - wear fewer clothes to beat the heat

Adharanand Finn, Guardian
Tsutomu Hata was ahead of his time. In 1994, the then-Japanese prime minister appeared in public wearing what he described as an energy-saving suit. This wasn't some hi-tech Honda-designed outfit that allowed him to work for twice as long without the need for sleep or coffee, but rather a conventional office suit with the sleeves chopped off at the elbow.

The idea was to encourage Japanese office workers to dress down in the summer so that their companies could turn down the air conditioning, and hence save some energy. Hata's half-sleeve jacket look never quite caught on, but his wear-less-to-work concept has proven more durable.

Last month, Japan's current prime minister, Yasuo Fukuda, joined in the fun by ditching his suit and tie in favour of a Kariyushi shirt - a lightweight short-sleeved shirt from Japan's Okinawa region. Unlike Hata's bold gesture, Fukuda's outfit change was fully expected and barely even commented on. For the last four years the Japanese government has been running an extremely successful campaign to get office workers to wear fewer clothes.

... So, what do you think? If it does get hot this summer, are shorts and T-shirts suitable office attire?
(7 July 2008)
After I left office work, I was able to forego long pants for good. Once you get used to them, shorts are cooler, more comfortable and much easier to wash. For a warm climate like ours in coastal California, they are ideal.

My fashion models are permaculture co-originator Bill Mollison (whose uniform is shorts and flip-flops) and Amigo Bob Cantisano (organic farming consultant "has never been seen in anything other than shorts and sandals, even in November in the northwest.") -BA

Over 1,000 participants in Biofuel Cities European Partnership

Biofuels Cities
The launch of the stakeholder platform in July 2007 has raised a huge amount of interest amongst different actors with an impressive 1,000 people registered to date as participants in the European Partnership. Participants can now access an increasing range of information resources (e.g. publications, websites, policies) -currently some 340 resources are accessible - and 250 projects on biofuels linked to interactive maps for easier viewing.

The European Partnership is designed for all stakeholders in the area of biofuel vehicles, such as local governments and local companies that, for example, work with local car fleets, businesses in the biofuel supply chain, the research community, governments and standardisation bodies, NGOs and media.

The web platform has numerous features available and some of these features are exclusive to participants of the Biofuel Cities European Partnership, so register today! Participation is free.

Register your participation at:
(24 June 2008)
Suggested by Daniel Lerch of Post Carbon Institute.

Energy guru offers Exmouth self-sufficiency blueprint

Devon24 (UK)
WAKE up Exmouth! was the call to arms by a leading figure in a worldwide movement to bring communities together to break reliance on fossil fuels and work toward a sustainable future.

A fledgling Exmouth group seeking to establish self reliance and a new way of life was inspired on Tuesday by the founder of Transition Town Totnes (TTT), Naresh Giangrande.

Now Transition Town Exmouth (TTE) has begun, and the group joined Exmouth Residents' Association and Exmouth Community Association in booking the speaker.

Now the TTE movement will follow the Totnes model toward a closer community working together for greater self-sufficiency.

Founder Chris White said: "We had 150 people, including the mayor, at the talk and it has given us a great platform for people to make ecological change.
(7 July 2008)

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