April 21, 2010

“Green”minded businesses blast too-cold AC—with doors open? Climate Change.

Please, businesses, ’tis the season to close your doors!

I grew up in the panting humid sweat drips from your elbows heat of Savannah, Georgia and there is nothing I crave like the warmth of summer in Colorado after a long winter. The heat here’s not uncomfortable. I feel like my body thaws and tingles and my skin relishes the feel of the warm dry air all summer long. I wear shorts and tank tops, bathing suits and flipflops. I hike at midday. That random girl lying in the grass by Boulder Creek in direct sun, reddening to a crisp amongst the cute college kids—yours truly.

Let’s cut to the chase here: I stroll through town enjoying myself in my linen sundress, and head into a cafe for an iced coffee. I walk through the welcoming open doors beckoning me in from Pearl, only to get blasted by what feels like a breeze straight from the freakin’ Arctic (which, by the way, is the last place I personally want to be). How can this be? The doors are open, the air outside is hot, yet the artificial air being pumped through the vents is icy. The AC must be crankin. And, of course I forgot my sweater on this balmy 90 degree day.

Now I get personal. The culprits we can think of in Boulder: The Laughing Goat, and most of the cafes and restaurants in town. Feel free to name the ones you can think of below.

Alternatives: Boulder Bookstore is huge and opens its doors wide, but cools the building with a swamp cooler. Also known as an evaporative cooler, the swamp cooler cools air in dry regions (Colorado) by releasing moisture, or humidifying, and only using 3-10 gallons of water a day—the equivalent of a couple toilet bowl flushes. These hunks of sweating metal actually use less energy than the fancy small boxes shooting glacial temperatures over visiting patrons. Speaking of glaciers, let’s not get into the effect air conditioning units ultimately have on the integrity of the world’s glaciers…recession is not just a financial term.

So please, businesses, keep your doors shut and turn the AC up (to a warmer setting) and stop freezing out your patrons in the name of open facades.

Who’s in? Leave your business name in the comments below!

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