Be wool dressed: Feb. 9 is National Sweater Day

sweaters stacked on top of each other

"Turn down the heat, turn up your sweater" PosterThis Thursday, turn down the heat and turn up your sweater as York University takes part in National Sweater Day.

Business attire will be on the lamb as faculty, staff and students indulge in some sheep thrills as part of York University’s ongoing efforts to save energy.

“Everyone in the York community is invited to put on their favourite sweater, be it a designer cardigan, Grandma’s latest project or your funkiest knits, and then turn down the thermostat by two degrees Celsius. Remember to check with your colleagues to make sure they are okay with the cooler temperature,” says Pavel Graymason, York University’s sustainability coordinator.

National Sweater Day at York is part of a global effort organized by the World Wildlife Fund to draw attention to climate change. “By doing your part, you will be joining volunteers in the York Research Tower and the Health, Nursing & Environmental Studies Building in their effort to help conserve energy and save the planet.”

Organized by Sustainability @York, this year’s event has a bit of a twist. “Sustainability @ York is running a competition this year for the best sweater or sweaters,” says Graymason. “E-mail a photograph of your knitted creation to for a chance to win a sustainability prize pack. The best photographs will also be published in an upcoming edition of YFile.”

York community members interested in learning more about the University’s efforts to enhance sustainability are also invited to drop by an information table that will be in Vari Hall on Thursday, Feb. 9, from 10am to 4pm. The Absinthe Pub will also be hosting a sweater themed pub night on Thursday evening.

“Members of the University community have made some significant strides in reducing the University’s energy consumption and its production of waste,” says Andrew Plunkett, the University’s sustainabiltiy project coordinator. He noted that the Yorkwise Program has guided the retrofitting of lighting, heating, cooling and water fixtures in older buildings, which has enabled the University to achieve a 20 per cent reduction in energy usage between 2007 and 2010, totaling over 60 million kilowatt hours of electricity over three years. “That is enough energy to power both the Keele and Glendon campuses for 240 days,” says Plunkett. The program continues to be expanded with new targets.

“Effective sustainable practices reduce University costs, and will result in the legacy of a better environment for current and future generations says Richard Francki, assistant vice-president of Campus Services & Business Operations. “The University is committed to the principles of sustainability, both in the classroom and across all aspects of campus operations and this event is important in raising awareness about energy consumption.”

Sweater Day at York follows on the most recent recognition the University received for its efforts in sustainability when, for the second year in a row, the UI Greenmetric Ranking rated York University the greenest universty in Canada.

“In addition to being fun and entirely voluntary, Sweater Day signals that it is important that all of us do what we can to make our way of living more sustainable,” says Graymason. “So wear your sweater and do your part to save the planet.”

Don’t get fleeced or left in the cold. To learn more, visit the Sustainability @ York website or the World Wildlife Fund’s National Sweater Day website.