Do you still remember the hay box? The professor explains what gigs can be saved during the 1973 oil crisis

In 1973, the oil crisis was also strongly visible in the daily lives of Finns.

Under the Exceptional Circumstances Act, the Department of the Interior issued a series of regulations to save energy.

In addition, motorsports and recreational aviation, among other things, were banned at the time, as was the lighting of motorways.

Saving energy is again a topical issue, as high electricity and fuel prices are putting pressure on households in Finland as well.

Russia’s war of aggression in Ukraine could further accelerate the rise in prices.

Heating consumes a lot of energy

Professor Emeritus of Economic History of Jyväskylä Ilkka Nummela points out that many of the tools harnessed during the crisis of the 1970s are easy to implement now.

“The most classic way was to turn off the lamps. In addition, the advertising lights were turned off and the street lights were adjusted lower. We also try to lower the room temperatures, ”Nummela recalls.

In Finland, a significant part of energy is used to heat homes.

Nummela says that he is surprised that the guidelines in Finland do not pay attention to a fairly simple way of lowering the indoor temperature.

“An easy way is to put on more clothing. Today we are often in half-robes inside. It is thought that you should be able to watch TV with a t-shirt on.

According to Nummela, the same observation applies to the workplace.

“When you look at old stock photos from factories, they weren’t very warm,” he points out.

The story continues after the picture.

Warm on. Spring heats up gradually. At home, warm wool socks still have a place. Picture: Jenni Gästgivar

Old for cooking

An interesting phenomenon that is foreign to many members of the present generation is the so-called hay box.

It means a box for cooking food that requires a long time to cook, which in the past was lined with newspapers in addition to hay.

Typically, various soups were made from a hay box, for example. First the food was cooked, then it was placed in a box lined with hay, the lid was closed and the food was prepared by itself with residual heat.

“Some have tried such self-made foods since then, but they haven’t really made it through. Then, in the 1970s, this method was also on display, ”Nummela recalls.

Developments help in many ways

Development helps people in the current situation. Many things have improved in terms of energy efficiency.

“Think of lighting, for example. Back in the 1970s, luminaires needed 70 watts of power, now they run on 10 watts, ”says Nummela.

The story continues after the picture.

Nostalgia. Many remember the old CRT TVs, but maybe not that they were quite consumable.Picture: ED-DESIGN OY / Elka

“Basic lighting is obtained with much lower power consumption. Televisions consume much less than then. The fuel economy of cars is on a whole other level. At that time, consumption was calculated so that you could cover 10 kilometers with 10 liters, ”he continues.

Advances in technology also make it possible to work remotely. Back in the 1970s, work was very often concrete, physical work.

There was no possibility of teleworking. Reducing commuting is one way to save fuel today.

On the other hand, people’s lifestyles and habits have changed a lot. Different leisure activities require a lot of energy. Therefore, saving energy is also about value choices at the individual level.

“Swimming pools, for example, are quite a surge of energy. I don’t consider them bad at all, but this just doesn’t usually come to mind, ”Nummela points out.

By Editor

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