Japanese people are already kicking Americans' butts when it comes to energy efficiency: They use half as much energy as we do already, despite their proclivity for gadgets like automatic toilets. But since the Fukushima meltdown, they've gotten even more hyper-aware of the need to save energy.
In Tokyo, the government is hoping to cut electricity use during work hours by 15 percent compared to last year, and they're on track to do it. Offices dim the lights and keep the thermostat hovering around 83 degrees, businessmen are wearing shorts, and plugging in a fan at your desk is a big social no-no. One manufacturer started flashing orange lights on the company's factory floor if energy use threatened to top the previous year's maximum. Some offices are even shooting for bigger cuts than the government requires. If this all feels a little intense, well, it's less intense than dealing with nuclear meltdowns.