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Has the tide of green, eco-friendly thinking finally turned into a wave of confusion?
In what can only be considered a case of running at the mouth, Energy Minister Robert Hurlburt mused in front of reporters last week that a four day work week for provincial employees might be the next step to reduce our carbon footprint on the planet. Casting his eye towards Utah where 17,000 state employees are switching to a ten hour work day for four days a week, Hurlburt says his department will keep an eye on the beehive state to see if their implementations will benefit Nova Scotians.
While there's no doubt most Nova Scotians would love a four-day workweek, should we really consider this a case of moving toward a more eco-conscious strategy?
The reality is if Nova Scotia's government offices switched to a four-day workweek the two hours added to each day would see employees utilizing the same amount of electricity if not a smidge more as those hours would come at either during the beginning or end of the day. During the winter the days are short and cold - the furnace and lights will need to be on regardless of whether its for an eight hour stretch or a 10 hour stretch and during the remaining three days allocated as a weekend.
Nova Scotia has been a leader in green strategies, being amongst the first to reduce landfill waste in favour of reusing and recycling. It's also had a hard time getting energy consumers off of its addiction to coal. On a municipal level every community and county has differing rules to govern wind turbine development. Setbacks between turbines and private property owners are left to the discretion of councils.
One would think this is something Minister Hurlburt should standardize for the undustry instead of talking how nice it would be to only have to work four days a week.
Or how about the province's energy strategy and action plan on climate change. After extending the deadline for written submissions from the public in January the province has yet to hash out their findings. With so many keen interests in making a more "green" Nova Scotia one would assume the department should be running five days a week to get this number wrapped up. It's a serious let down we are so quickly blind sided by the daydream ramblings of "someday" when there is work to be done today.

Geographic location: Nova Scotia, Utah

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