It’s October, not August. Westporters are turning our thermostats up, not down.
But it’s never too early to think about that scourge of summer: Main Street stores that throw their front doors open, wasting enormous air-conditioning energy in the belief that customers will not come in if they have to actually open the door.
Apparently, that’s an issue in New York too.
But America’s largest city has managed to do something about it.
A new law requires most shops and restaurants to keep front doors and windows shut, while air-conditioners and cooling systems are in use. Exceptions include restaurants with outdoor dining, and sidewalk cafes. Fines range from $250 to $1,000.
The Department of Consumer Affairs is advertising the new law with stickers saying “Shut the Front Door!” That’s a polite twist on the texting abbreviation “STFU.”
New York’s law is not meant to punish store owners who think they’ll lure customers with a blast of cold air. It’s an acknowledgment of an enormous waste of energy — and the urgency of reducing the city’s carbon footprint.
Westport was a leader in the national movement to ban plastic bags. It’s time for our RTM to take another step in the war against climate change. Let’s follow New York City’s lead, and shut every front door in town.