All over the Middle East and North Africa, governments are feeling the energy pinch, and each has a different solution. Morocco and Algeria are turning to solar energy, so are Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, while Jordan seems more intent on exploiting its oil shale reserves to bridge the soaring gap between supply and demand.
But Turkey has taken a different approach. Instead of relying only on increasing generation capacity, the government has launched a national energy conservation campaign. And this enormous sweater is its intriguing focal point.
As part of the energy conservation campaign, the Bayrampasa municipality in the capital knitted the world’s largest sweater, for which they received the Guinness World Record.
Knitted with roughly 1,100 pounds of wool by 90 people over one month, the oversized sweater measures 151 feet long and 52.5 feet wide and was displayed on the side of a tall building.
It boasts two rows of vertical stripes on either flank of the front, along with two Turkish flags – one on the sleeve and another on the breast.
This initiative is part of the government’s strategy to encourage people to turn down their thermometers and wear warmer clothes, a move that could save up to $2 billion in energy costs every year.
Bayrampasa municipality took inspiration from Canada’s annual National Sweater Day, a curious holiday that is apparently celebrated on February 9, and while it is a bit odd and perhaps a touch wasteful, the project does demonstrate that extraordinary things can be accomplished by people who strive together to reach a common goal.
And it is a worthy goal at that: energy conservation is a simple, low-tech method to reduce the need for more fossil fuel extraction while also diverting carbon emissions from the atmosphere.