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The Netherlands has an effective – and cosy – way to reduce carbon emissions | Pixabay
The Netherlands has an effective – and cosy – way to reduce carbon emissions | Pixabay

Warm Sweater Day: the Netherlands' Cosy Climate Change Initiative

Picture of Tom Coggins
Updated: 9 February 2018

On February 2, 2018 thousands of people in the Netherlands donned their favourite, comfy sweaters and turned down the heating, in order to reduce the country’s carbon footprint. This cosy climate change event is known as Warm Sweater Day and has taken place in the Netherlands for 12 consecutive years.

According to the initiative behind Warm Sweater Day, Klimaatverbond, lowering indoor temperatures by 1°C (34°F) saves around 6% of the nation’s energy consumption, and cutting back for one day would create enough surplus power to sustain three of the Dutch Wadden Islands for an entire year. Heating buildings like houses, offices and schools, as it turns out, consumes a serious amount of energy and cutting down this output helps significantly reduce carbon emissions nationwide.


Small changes can make big differences when it comes to climate action | pixabay

Hence, for the last 12 years, Klimaatverbond has encouraged people, organisations and companies throughout the Netherlands to warm up with sweaters rather than radiators during one day in early February. Although this event doesn’t happen on the same date every year, it takes place around the beginning of February, in order to celebrate the Kyoto Protocol – a pioneering, international climate treaty that came into effect on February 16, 2005.


Frankly, who doesn’t love a good sweater? Plus they are better for the environment than indoor heating | pixabay

This year over 200,000 people officially participated in Warm Sweater Day and it is likely that many more took part in response to the event’s advertising campaigns. It is also common for organisations, like schools, universities or businesses, to organise special activities during Warm Sweater Day, including Best Sweater Competitions and communal soup drives.

For more information about Warm Sweater Day, and some simple tips on how to reduce household carbon emissions, make sure to check out the initiative’s website!