Para economizar energia, chilenos abandonam gravata

Direito de imagem Reuters

The government in Chile has come up with a new way of saving energy. It's advised Chilean men to take off their ties during the summer months, so they won't need to switch on the air conditioning.

Reportagem Gideon Long

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It's a common sight during the Southern Hemisphere summer to see Chilean men sweltering in suits and neckties.

From December to March, the temperature in the capital regularly tops 30 degrees Celsius. In the bone-dry north of the country it gets even higher.

So the government's told the country's menfolkto shed their ties, undo their top buttons and turn down the air conditioning.

It estimates that by doing so Chile can save around US$ 10 million during the four hottest months of the year, and save 120,000 tonnes in carbon emissions.

The government launched its initiative with a video in which four ministers ripped off their ties. Energy conservation is a key issue in Chile, which, unlike many countries in Latin America, produces virtually no oil and gas.

It relies heavily on hydro-electric power, but that often runs low during the summer, when the country's reservoirs are frequently hit by drought.

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The Southern Hemisphere summer (verão no hemisfério sul, a estação mais quente do ano na parte de baixo do globo) the warmest season of the year in the bottom half of the Earth

sweltering (se sentindo muito quente) feeling very hot

bone-dry (sem nenhuma umidade) totally free of moisture

menfolk (homen - expressão antiga) mem (old-fashioned expression)

to shed something (tirar algo - uma peça do vestuário) to take something off

carbon emissions (emissões de carbono, gás produzido por processos industriais que são liberados na atmofesra) gas produced by industrial processes that is released in the atmosphere

launched its initiative (lançou a sua iniciativa, anunciou novas medidas) announced its new measures

energy conservation (economia de energia, iniciativas para reduzir o consumo de energia) efforts made to reduce the use of electricity

hydro-electric power (força hidro-elétrica, energia gerada pelo uso de água corrente, normalmente utilizando uma queda d´água) energy generated with the use of flowing water, usually a waterfall

drought (seca, um longo período de estiagem, sem chuva) a long period without a rainfall