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burlesona

Dress for the Weather Week

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I got an idea from the De Lange Conference last week, based on a speech by Antanas Mockus, the former mayor of Bolivia.

The background for the idea is described here: http://www.neohouston.com/2009/03/antanas-...ulated-society/

Take a look if you care to, I thought the whole idea of three dimensional regulatory policy was pretty interesting...

Anyway, the part that really got me thinking is when Mockus talked about addressing water shortages in Bogota not by trying to impose new regulations, but by advocating for lifestyle change. I was thinking of what we struggle with in Houston, and clearly the biggest environmental issue we face is heat.

Then I started thinking: when I'm around the house in the summer, I leave the thermostat at about 78 degrees, and I wear linen shorts and sandals most of the time. It's really comfortable, and my wife is especially appreciative since she gets cold easily. The problem is the office. I mean, when it's 98 degrees outside, wearing a suit is the pits. But for many of us, the office culture is unyielding on the dress code, no matter how climatically inappropriate it may be.

What if we created an initiative to have "Dress for the Weather Week" sometime this summer? Think of how much money businesses could save if they turned the temperature from 68 to 78 and let employees dress appropriately for it?

I know this is a cultural issue, and one that won't change overnight, but a city-wide event where we all dressed like we live in Texas for one week could fly, and if businesses did realize significant savings they might consider keeping it up. This could be especially beneficial for Houston businesses in the current market.

What do you think?

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Interesting that when you see old pictures of pre-A/C Houston or Galveston, businessmen are still wearing suits and ties, and even "casual" clothing meant long sleeved shirts and long pants.

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We are way pansy-fied, I know I am. I didn't used to whine about the heat this much, it's a function of getting used to A/C. One of my resolutions this year is to get used to the heat instead of complaining. More open windows instead of a/c in the car, etc.

I don't want to see people at my office in shorts.

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I don't want to see people at my office in shorts.

There are good alternatives, too, like linen pants. Think about what people wear on a golf course. It can look nice but be light and breathable.

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Interesting. Since I work at home, I just keep the AC low around 78. However, opening windows in high humidity isn't a viable option -- for one thing, it's a little hard to type with the keyboard sticking to your hands. :-)

But having said that, turning off AC for many skyscrapers and certain types of buildings isn't practical, since windows can't be opened, and some rooms are all glass (greenhouse effect), so...

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