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Arlington Encouraging Businesses to Close Their Doors

by ARLnow.com September 13, 2011 at 3:01 pm 4,455 29 Comments

Arlington is launching a ‘Retail Doors Campaign’ as part of its ongoing Green Games business sustainability competition. The campaign encourages individual shops and restaurants to save energy by closing their doors.

“The Campaign is a voluntary effort through which retailers pledge to keep their doors closed if the air conditioning or heat is running,” said county spokeswoman Shannon Whalen McDaniel. “Arlington is asking retailers to make this commitment to close their doors, which will help save them money, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and create a more comfortable indoor environment for staff and customers.”

It’s “a win-win situation all around,” Whalen McDaniel said.

Businesses that want to join the campaign can sign up on the Arlington Green Games website.

  • Thes

    Meanwhile, can anyone answer the mystery about why about 45% of all retail establishments with double doors have a sign on one of them that says “please use other doors”? Is there something special about retail double doors that makes exactly one of them break?

    • Bluemontsince1961

      Thes, I don’t know how many times I’ve seen the same thing. One establishment in Arlington has had the “please use other door” for years. It seems to do good business so surely they could afford to fix the broken door. One wonders if there is something about retail double doors that makes one of them break.

      • DarkHeart

        The original Lost Dog?

    • Piedmonter

      I always attributed this to laziness/simplifying: the store owner only wants to lock and unlock one of the doors.

      • Scott

        that actually sounds like a reasonable explanation why they’d do so

    • This does certainly seem to be the case… Maybe it’s difficult to get single retail doors… What’s really annoying is when there are crowds of people trying to get in a store which has double doors and only one of them is in use… If you’ve got double doors then use them I say!

  • drax

    This is awesome. I hate when they do that.

  • Wilbur

    I dont know. The wind tunnel effect as you feel several tons of AC gushing out the front door and blowing over you – it’s kinda cool. How else are we gonna stop global warming other than by blowing all the AC out the front door of these places?

  • MC 703

    What if wild chickens wandered in?

    • Sanders, Col. (Ret)

      You just give me a call, son, if’n that happens.

      • Gen. Tso

        I get first dibs on chickens, Sanders – I outrank you.

  • It would seem this is all about money. If a business has a door open, they may believe more customers will walk in and they will make more sales. For those, some extra money in A/C costs may be worth it. Others may choose to close the doors to keep the cold in if they don’t believe open doors will attract any more to their business. It is just a bottom line practice I suspect.

  • Ren

    I hate when establishments leave their doors open. It’s like they’re screaming “we’re so indifferent to blowing up mountains in Appalachia, we’ll use the energy to blow AC all over the sidewalk”.

    I also think that businesses do what other businesses do and people can get into the mindset of using their flabby arms to open the door if they want to buy something.

    • MC 703

      I always wonder why stores have open-air refrigerated cases. I do my part and lower the cooling burden by buying cold beer often and in large quantities.

      • stevis

        I believe those are more efficient for certain high traffic items than closing a door all the time. There’s often a slight air “curtain” designed to discourage mixing of the air over the refrigerated case and the general store air.

        For example, on freezers: http://www.mentalfloss.com/trivia/facts/archives/464

        • MC 703

          Wow that is very interesting. Thanks! I’m still buying lots of beer though.

  • JimPB

    A far bigger loss of energy is from grocery store freezers without covers or doors.

    Then there are stores that cool to excess; Grand Mart is one of the leaders in this large waste of energy.

    • to avoid the death smell

      Grand Mart over ACs because if it gets to a standard “room temperature” everyone will have to live the smell of death that always seems to emanate from every location of that store I’ve ever walked by in any even minor heat. Phew. (PS- I’m not knocking the stores product or procedures as much as the fact that like it or not when you combine the international items sold including the seafood and cut meats it’s a VERY powerful smell… and they should not all go togehter.)

  • John Fontain

    Arlington County staff, I’m not sure whether I should leave my fridge door open or not. Please, think of the children and help me with some advice. Me and all the rest of the citizens and business owners in Arlington are too dumb to figure this stuff out on our own. We need your help.

    • drax

      Yet you do close your fridge door, don’t you? And you’d say anyone who doesn’t is an idiot, wouldn’t you? And there are stores leaving their doors open, aren’t there?

  • dkuhn

    Welcome to the people’s republic of Arlington, how can I take your mon… order?

  • ArlingtonCountyTaxpayer

    first they’ll ask that you keep them closed.
    then they’ll require it.
    are these a bunch of drunken sailors or what?

  • dkuhn


  • Alison

    The headline here is a little mis-leading — at first glance, it looks like the county is encouraging businesses to shut down. Not quite the same!

    • dkuhn

      Someone doesn’t understand jokes.

  • Roquer

    These businesses pay their taxes. They are legal in every way. The County Board needs to butt OUT of their business!!!

    • Maria

      It’s voluntary. Simmer down now.

  • Rick

    I’m going to open both the doors to my work after reading this

  • AG

    Could you also ask these retailers to put the a/c temperature to somewhere above freezing so I don’t have to bring a sweater in the store when it’s 90 degrees outside?


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