Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Simple Suggestion #150... Turn down the heat by 2 degrees

Did you know that tomorrow, February 7th, is National Sweater Day? I just learned about it this morning, thanks to my Master Composter/Recycler newsletter. What is National Sweater Day? Well, the suggestion is that we all turn our thermostats down by two degrees and wear our granny-given sweaters in an effort to mitigate the effects of global climate change caused by all the fossil fuels we use to heat our homes. And if we can lower the heat on a regular basis, even better!

POSTERsweater_dayOf all the negative things going on in the world today, global climate change is by far the most terrifying. I'm not saying that the crises in the Middle East aren't frightening, or that the lives being lost and the amount of money being spent on conflict in places like Mali and Afghanistan isn't scary. What makes climate change the worst is that it is broader than these terrible conflicts -- it touches every person no matter where they are on the planet because superstorms threaten us all. It's too easy for us to ignore the obvious signs of climate change, like melting glaciers and disappearing global ice caps, because, like the conflicts I've mentioned, they are far away... but global climate change is becoming more and more obvious everywhere. Talk about climate change with people in Australia, who seem to be alternating between forest fires and floods. Or ask the people on the Solomon Islands, who experienced a 1 metre tsunami yesterday that killed 5 people because sea level has been rising at alarming rates for sea level communities. And then there are the folks in the Sahara Desert who experienced a snowstorm this week. Have you noticed an increase in the severity of storms where you live?

All good reasons to turn that thermostat down and listen to our grannies... though the grannies put forth by the World Wildlife Fund are more like grandmas when I was growing up than like any cool, zumba-grandmas I've met in our present day. Even so, WWF has come up with an interesting campaign to encourage us to reduce our consumption of heating fuels. If you have a few minutes, check out the website at I love how it's all done up in old-fashioned "granny-ness," doilies and all. And I'm really tempted to set up a granny phonecall for a few people I know, and for myself. It would be lovely to talk to any one of these ladies, I'm sure. "Now stop being so ornery and just wear the sweater!" -- and reduce climate change by a little bit. All those little bits can add up to something big. And check out these grannies for yourself!

P.S. Looking for more Simple Suggestions? Click here.


  1. That was a cute video and a great idea!

  2. Hi Maria, I'm curious what is a normal temperature for Edmonton folks to set their thermostats? We set ours to 18 for the daytime and 16 at night. I find other people's houses really hot, but that could be because I'm pregnant!

    1. Hi, Nicola -- Yes, I think we Canadians tend to overheat our homes... The recommendation in Canada is 20, so you are more than good. Our thermostat is at 21! And my kids complain bitterly of being cold... I guess we've spoiled them or something. We put our heat down to 17 at night, and the budgie seems to be surviving, so I should be able to crank it down 24/7, shouldn't I?


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