Since 2007, Earth Hour has rallied people together from all over the world to recognize the reality of climate change. Despite the uncertainty last year, the world saw a record-breaking 190 countries participate in Earth Hour. This significant gesture serves to start a conversation about our impact on the Earth and demonstrate in a very direct manner how individuals working together can make a difference. Earth Hour’s goal is to “increase awareness and spark global conversations on protecting nature not only to combat the climate crisis, but to ensure our own health, happiness, prosperity, and even survival”
How to Participate?
On March 27th at 8:30 pm local standard time, turn off as many lights and electronics as you safely can for one full hour.
Throughout the world, as more and more people begin to turn off their lights, energy use is brought down and people start talking in the dark. This is the first action step and a great place to start (you never know what kind of conversation you could get into). But the real action lies in what you do next.
How Can I Practice Earth Hour In the Rest Of My Life?
- Make a plan to keep nonessential lights off at home, especially during the longer, brighter days of spring and summer
- Keep your outdoor lights off during the day (and, keep them off during key migratory bird times, too!)
- Try putting lights on a timer, if you know you use them in the evening but forget to turn them off overnight
- Can you use light from your windows to do your activities, instead of turning on indoor lights?
- Did you know that streaming video uses 60% of all internet traffic? Play some offline board games or choose a book or a walk outside for a downtime activity with lower environmental impact.
- Dry your clothing on a rack or line, inside or outside: dryers use a lot of energy! If you still love your fluffy towels, you can finish them off in a quick fluff dryer cycle; or, hang your clothing and use the dryer for your towels – every step makes a difference (plus, avoiding the dryer? It helps your clothes last longer!)
- If you work in an office, question your building’s light policy. Here are a few tips:
- Talk to a sustainability committee, building or office manager, to see if lights can be turned off at night or look into installing motion sensors in the hallways
- Install a smart power bar, to protect your electronics against energy surges and allow you to turn everything all the way off at night. “Standby mode” or “sleep” causes electronics to draw “ghost power”, which can add up to a lot over time! If you can’t do this every night for IT reasons, maybe you can be sure to shut down all the way when you go on vacation.
- Delete old emails and files, especially those stored in the cloud, if you don’t actually need them: server farms that store all this information use massive amounts of electricity, mainly to keep the data banks cool. Fewer files stored = less energy used!
The repercussions of an awareness activity such as Earth Hour are where the impact lies. As a campaign, Earth Hour has grown exponentially in the last few years. You can visit www.earthhour.org to get an idea of what they hope to achieve with this event.
So, on Saturday, March 27th at 8:30pm, join us in Earth Hour and start a dialogue with your circle of influence about the impact of your actions.