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'Casual Day' Reduces Cooling Costs

The article "To Dress Up or Down, That is the Question," Sept. 5, overlooked several reasons for the trend toward casual business wear. During warm-weather months, a work force in relaxed, loose-fitting clothing allows businesses to reduce wasteful energy consumption (by turning up the thermostat), lower astronomical cooling costs, and improve air quality. Friends of the Earth recently released "Lose the Noose," a study by The Rocky Mountain Institute. It revealed that a company occupying a 100,000-square-foot office building spends $1,860 more a year on air conditioning just to keep employees who are wearing suits and ties comfortable. Beyond the bottom line, forward-thinking companies recognize that year-round relaxed dressing improves morale and productivity. Business leaders and environmentalists agree that we no longer need to be buttoned down to be professional.

Brent Blackwelder

Washington

President, Friends of the Earth

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