Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Earth Hour 2011

This weekend marks the 5th annual Earth Hour. For those of you who are unfamiliar with Earth Hour, here is a quite blurb on that it’s about: Earth Hour is a global event organized by WWF (World Wide Fund for Nature, also known as World Wildlife Fund) and is held on the last Saturday of March annually, asking households and businesses to turn off their non-essential lights and other electrical appliances for one hour to raise awareness towards the need to take action on climate change. Earth Hour was conceived by WWF and The Sydney Morning Herald in 2007, when 2.2 million residents of Sydney participated by turning off all non-essential lights.[1] Following Sydney's lead, many other cities around the world adopted the event in 2008.[2][3] Earth Hour 2011 will take place on March 26, 2011 from 8:30p.m. to 9:30p.m., at participants' respective local time. Wiki Source

I want to encourage everyone to participate in this wherever possible. My family has been doing this for a few years now and it’s pretty cool. The first year we did it, our young son was still awake for it, so we grabbed our crank lights and read him a Tintin book. Last year, a Canuck’s game was on, so we cheated and watched that but we made sure everything else was turned off. There isn’t a game scheduled for this Saturday, so not too sure what we’re going to do, but whatever we do, we’re likely going sans electricity for that hour.

There are some things I wanted to mention, though: those of you who are participating in Earth Hour, using your phone/laptop/tablet to go online during that hour to say that you’re participating is silly. Just don’t do that. I mean, what’s the point in participating in Earth Hour if you’re using your electronics during that hour? Last year, after we booted up our respective internet connected devices following the hour, we saw dozens of tweets and Facebook statuses of people boasting about this, and I just had to smack my forehead and chuckle at the absurdity of it all.

Another thing to keep in mind is vampire power. No, I am not talking about glittering night-walkers; I’m talking about your electronics that are plugged in. Even on standby, they are drawing power. Sure it’s minute compared to when they’re in use, but do you really need to have your toaster plugged in during Earth Hour? Do you anticipate a Pop-Tart emergency during that hour? No? Then unplug the damn thing. That goes for chargers, electric razors, microwaves, computers, TVs. Whatever you can (conveniently) unplug, just do it. When the hour is over, I challenge you to read about how much energy was saved in your city for that hour. The numbers may surprise you! One town in BC had their energy consumption go down 7 percent! Seven percent! Yeah sure, Burns Lake isn’t exactly a bustling metropolis, but the town really took Earth Hour seriously, and that ought to be celebrated.

To my fellow British Columbians: over the past two years, participation has gone down. Let’s turn that trend around, shall we? Vancouver was just declared the greenest city in Canada. How about we celebrate that title with gusto this Earth Hour?

If you think there’s just no way you can have fun without the use of electricity (OMG, an hour with no power on a Saturday!!), guess again. There are plenty of things to go and do! Go for a starlit walk; have a candlelit bubble bath, or dinner; play poker or read a book by candlelight; share a few drinks in your backyard with some friends; go snipe hunting with your kid and the list goes on and on. There are plenty of online articles about what you can do during Earth Hour. Sure, some of them are somewhat cheesy but one person’s mold is another person’s bleu cheese (mmm, cheese!).

Also, consider this article about things to do to prepare for Earth Hour (check out the cool photo of New York!).

Toronto Skyline During Earth hour

Kuala Lumpur's Petronas Twin Towers During Earth Hour

Sydney Skyline During Earth Hour

No idea.. Montreal? It's pretty though!

The Clock Tower (Big Ben's inside the tower) During Earth Hour

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