December 2018


Our monthly online newsletter,"L'ESPACE".
L'ESPACE is a diverse French word that means place,area,cosmos,and gap.

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Winter, the Season to Save Energy!

Bernardo and Kyoko moved to Tokyo from Rio de Janeiro in spring this year. The seasons have come and gone, and Bernardo is now facing his first winter in Tokyo.

Hey, Bernardo. Can you help me change these curtains?
Kyoko
Sure, but why do we need to change them? I like those curtains. ...Huh? These new curtains are a lot thicker than the ones we’ve been using.
Bernardo
I know. We need these thicker curtains to help save energy during the coming season.
Kyoko
Save energy? We did our best to save energy during summer, but why winter, too?
Bernardo
It may not have crossed your mind, as you were born and raised in Rio where it’s warm all year round, but living in Tokyo, electricity and gas bills are quite high in winter, too.
Kyoko
We need to try and reduce our energy bills, then. Heaters use the most electricity. So we have to think of reasonable ways to reduce the amount of electricity we consume through heaters.
Bernardo
Thick, long curtains are one such way. Did you know that over half of the heat from heaters is lost through windows?
Kyoko
I see. So you want to put up thick curtains which reach the floor to prevent warm air in the room from escaping outside.
Bernardo
Correct. And there are many other ways we can save energy. First, warm air rises, so we should set our air conditioner to blow air downward.
Kyoko
In summer, we used an electric fan to circulate cool air from the air conditioner, right? In the same way, we should make sure that warm air circulates around the room in winter. I wonder if there are other things we need to be careful of when using our air conditioner.
Bernardo
Well, we should avoid turning the air conditioner on and off too frequently. And it is also important to clean the filter once every two months.
Kyoko
We should also pay attention to how we use hot water. The temperature of tap water is lower in winter than in summer, so more energy is required to heat water, right?
Bernardo
Yes. When using hot water in the kitchen or washroom, we could lower the temperature setting or not leave the hot water running for too long.
Kyoko
And if we were to get in the bath soon after each other, we wouldn’t need to reheat the water or keep it warm.
Bernardo
Remember what you just said next time you’re engrossed in your video game and take ages to get into the bath! In future, I hope you’ll get straight into the bath when it’s ready.
Kyoko

Bernardo and Kyoko changed all of the curtains in their home.

I’m thirsty. Don’t you think the air’s too dry in this room?
Bernardo
The air in winter is dry to begin with, and it becomes even drier when you turn up the temperature on the heater. Actually, my skin’s been in bad condition recently.
Kyoko
Shall I buy you some luxury moisturizing cream as a present?
Bernardo
No, that’s not the issue!
Kyoko
Sorry, sorry. When the room’s air is too dry, it is bad not only for your complexion but also your general health, right? This is because the mucous membranes in your nose and throat weaken and you become more susceptible to viruses like colds and flu. ...So, perhaps we need a humidifier?
Bernardo
I think we can get by without a humidifier. Perhaps by hanging damp towels or washing indoors, or maybe by placing cups of water or plants around the house...
Kyoko
I see. None of these methods use unnecessary energy, and are all kind to both our wallets and our planet.
Bernardo
Yes!
Kyoko

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