photo by Grzegorz Chorus (source: Flickr Creative Commons)

A new campaign by the Japanese government encourages people to go to bed one hour earlier in order to save energy and cut down on CO2 emissions. Not watching TV and having lights on late at night could cut household energy consumption by up to 20%

The campaign, launched by Japan’s Environment Ministry, is called ‘Morning Challenge’ is designed to change morning sunlight for nighttime energy use in the home.

From an article in the Independent:

A study by the Japanese ministry of environment has found that 20 percent of Japan’s electricity is consumed within the final hour before bed. As a result the government is running a campaign encouraging people to go bed and wake up earlier. It is estimated that the average family could reduce their carbon footprint by up to 85kg per year simply by not watching TV late into the night.

Five years ago the Japanese Environment Ministry launched the ‘Cool Biz’ campaign in order to persuade workers to wear short sleeve shirts during summer months to cut down on air conditioner use.

Some environmental campaigners in the UK would like to take this idea a step further and institute a time change. The 10:10 Lighter Later Campaign supports this initiative, which would mean officially moving the clocks back one hour, effectively taking one hour of daylight from the morning and giving it to the evening.

This may pose challenges, for instance children in Scotland having to walk to school in the dark, but perhaps this problem could be solved by simply having school start an hour later where this is an issue.

The proposed benefits of setting the clocks forward an hour in the UK include reducing energy consumption and CO2 emissions, increasing road safety, cutting down on crime and boosting tourism.

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Additional resources:

Telegraph – Japanese told to go to bed an hour early to cut carbon emissions