Take Off Your Tie to Help the Planet, Italy Says
ROME -- Want to help fight global warming? Take off your tie, says the Italian health ministry.
It has urged employers to let their staff dress casually at work in the summer so the air conditioning can be turned down.
"Taking your tie off immediately lowers the body temperature by 2 to 3 degrees Celsius," the ministry said in a statement. "Allowing a more sensible use of air conditioning that yields electricity savings and protects the environment."
It called on all public and private offices to let employees wear no tie during heatwaves like the one that has brought Africa-like temperatures to many parts of Italy this week.
The move echoes a similar initiative from Italy's biggest oil group, ENI, which told its staff earlier this month they need not wear a tie at work.
Tie makers, however, were left hot under the collar.
"Italy confirms that it is a strange country," Flavio Cima said in a letter to financial daily Il Sole 24 Ore under the headline: "I, tie maker, am responsible for global warming".
"We can now happily continue with our lifestyle, using cars, consuming fuel, heating and cooling our homes at leisure. On one condition: we should not wear a tie while we do so," he wrote.
"I should have listened to my friends and become an oil producer instead."
Italy is one of the European Union's worst performers on the pollution front and is among the EU countries expected to exceed their greenhouse gas emission targets.