●When he and I first landed here in Japan at Narita airport, the first thing we realized was the great effort in conserving energy. At terminal one of Narita airport they closed off one of the two exit gates resulting in half of the arriving section of the airport to be dark and closed off. It seemed odd looking at those efforts for me since I had never in my life seen Narita airport dark as I saw.
My mother was warning me how hot Japan is - even in stores and malls due to the energy conservation efforts (they are trying to set the AC temperature to 27 Celsius or 28 celsius when normally they set it to 23 celsius to 24 Celsius or even colder!). I was afraid that he was going to have go experience a hot summer wherever he went in Japan, but the stores and malls are not deadly hot, it is still nice and cool, thank god. large malls are just setting the temperature higher in large public areas in the mall. In addition, Yokohama and Tokyo are every cool right now due to the typhoon that is passing by :)
Other than that, whenever we go to stations, malls, parks, etc, we see that every other light in large hall ways are turned off, big signs that usually are lit very brightly are off, which results in everything in Yokohama and Tokyo to be slightly darker. I personally like it this way, I always thought that the busy areas if Tokyo (e.g. Ginza, Shibuya) and Yokohama (Yokohama station area) are always just too BRIGHT!!!!
So what are the negatives of these energy conservation efforts? People are given warnings that they really have to be careful of heat strokes since the number of deaths resulting from heat strokes is going up, and crime seems to be going up (specifically mugging) around residential areas which are now darker than usual in the night. What are the benefits of these efforts? First off, obviously the fact that we are able to avoid blackouts due to the lack of energy from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. Other than that, I think there are many business opportunities that open up. I see many products being sold which focus on cooling people down. For example, large pads which contain cooling gel inside which you lay on and help you keep cool throughout the night (it also comes with a pillow version), neck towels which are made out of special material that soaks water and in turn makes it ice cold. People wrap these around their necks. We have also seen clothing which keeps you cool and dry (specifically from UNIQLO).
On TV, they constantly show us how we can conserve energy and other tricks on how to stay cool with a higher AC temperature setting.(Japanese TV is extremely informative on EVERY channel, we will expand more on this later)
Ive never seen people in Japan so conscious about conserving and I feel like people and large businesses are starting to realize how important energy is for us.
Large businesses are also promoting the fact that they are conserving as much energy as they can through TV commercials and the Internet. I guess it is a great chance for them to improve their image!:)
So how would you conserve energy?