August 2008 brought to New York City heat waves and concerns about the rise in utility costs. That was when United Nations secretariat building decided to take the lead in energy conservation.
Employees were asked to dress down to cool summer attire, the thermostat was turned up five degrees to 77 F everywhere in the building except the conference room where it was set at 75 F.
The result was worth the small change: In the month of August alone, the UN reduced their utility bill by $100,000! Additionally they saved 4,400 million pounds of steam—which is the same as saving several hundred tons of carbon dioxide. It was estimated that if they turned down the thermostat in the winter months, the savings would be about a million dollars a year!
Often we underestimate the difference little changes and compromises make in our community, our homes and even in our relationships. Whether its turning up the thermostat by a couple of degrees in the summer and turning it down in the winter or quitting that little habit that irritates your loved ones, it just might be what it takes to make life a little more meaningful.