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We are a multidisciplinary innovation studio working with diverse partners to understand sustainability challenges and identify holistic, resilient solutions, and we are committed to training the next generation of leaders.

Blog

Insights, inspiration and opportunities to create a more vibrant and resilient future.

INSIGHT: A/C Gluttony?

Peter Nicholson

Heat Strokes
Let’s end the jolts. I’m finding myself in increasingly and prematurely over-air conditioned environments. From grocery stores to coffee shops to movie theaters, sweaters shouldn’t be necessary to endure these inverse summer extremes. An over-cooling arms race has begun. Energy efficiency is no match for our creature comfort cravings. Rather than driving customers away, as I was by an intolerably chilly Starbucks last week, cold spaces must draw most of us in (and sell more hot drinks?). We increasingly reject our connection with the natural environment as we eschew our ability to acclimatize to shifting seasonal temperatures. Leave no adult outside. We need to shift these culture norms with a consumer “Take the Chill Off” campaign. It’ll have leave-behind complaint cards stating “I won’t see you again until you Take The Chill Off,” and “We’re Right Cooled” window decals for establishments who have vowed to end the insanity. My sustainability-focused innovation work tends to be focused on big gains. Yet every time I enter one of these super-cooled spaces, I feel a physical and then psychological chill. We are outnumbered, and far outgunned, by the nature of resource-rich human nature.