July 24, 2008

Irvin Gives Blessing to 5 O’Clock Shadows Ag Workers Are Urged to Not Shave on Fridays to Help Conserve Water.

ATLANTA - Georgia Agriculture Department employees will help conserve water by growing some Friday stubble.

Agriculture Commissioner Tommy Irvin is instituting Razor-Free Friday in which department employees will be encouraged to not shave.

Irvin said men in the department should just leave their razors by the sink on Fridays.

Of the 800 employees, about half are men, most of them in field offices.

"We've had Casual Fridays as well as casual-dress days to help employees deal with the heat; now we're instituting a Razor-Free Friday to help with water conservation efforts in Georgia," Irvin said. "Every little bit helps, and I want to encourage everybody to conserve water in any way they can during this drought."

Irvin said he hopes the new tradition will help everyone remember the need for water conservation.

"Of course, not shaving once a week is only one of the things we can do to conserve water. Taking shorter showers and turning the faucet off while brushing your teeth are just some of the little things Georgians can do to help conserve," Irvin said.

Some employees have already faced up to the problem. Some workers, especially a few weights-and-measures inspectors, already have beards, according to Agriculture Department spokesman Tyler Adams.

At the same time Irvin announced the initiative, there was a little good news on the drought.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration issued a forecast last week that drought conditions would ease between now and October, but not be eliminated.

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