Let’s Talk About Earth Hour
Tomorrow, March 29, from 8-9pm is Earth Hour (aptly named because Earth Day was already taken and the holiday only lasts 60 minutes).
The event-intended to draw attention to climate change and energy conservation–started last year in Sydney, Australia when 2.2 million people and 2,100 Sydney businesses turned off their lights for one hour. That hour of darkness resulted in a reduction of 24.86 tons of CO2 (the equivalent of taking 48,613 cars off the road for one hour). This year, Earth Hour is going global; hundreds of cities around the world from Aaegina, Greece to Yass Valley, Australia have signed on to participate. There are 35 flagship cities in the US, including Atlanta, Chicago, Phoenix and San Francisco. Toronto is taking the lead in Canada.
Ready to celebrate, but not sure how? Turn off your lights. What if you’re not at home? Don’t worry, plenty of restaurants will be participating and lots of cities will hold special events (like the free Nelly Furtado concert in Toronto). And what if you’re home, but don’t feel that candlelight provides an appropriate ambiance for your evening activities? Then turn every hour into Earth Hour:
· switch to CFLs
· unplug chargers and appliances like toasters and electric toothbrushes when not in use
· plug your tv and computer into power strips that you can switch off (so you avoid the hassle of unplugging them every time you turn them off)
But is that truly celebrating Earth Hour? Is Earth Hour about darkness or is it about reducing our global carbon footprint? Is it a statement of global awareness of climate change? A worldwide (lazy) protest of our massive carbon footprint? Or is it an attempt to make a giant reduction in our global carbon footprint?
That Nelly Furtado concert in Toronto requires electricity, but the organizers promise to power the show with renewable energy. So if we buy green power, does that mean we get to keep our lights on during Earth Hour?