Saturday, March 26, 2011

@earthhour tonight

Going Green Mama likes an excuse to go to bed early for a cause...

Making the conscious choice to change is not an easy task. It's one thing to turn off the light when you leave the room, it's another thing to unplug completely. Like turning off the heat when its supposed to be in the 20s tonight. But those changes, however uncomfortable for awhile, are those that make you think.

Tonight at 8:30 p.m. is Earth Hour, a worldwide movement to unplug for one hour on a Saturday night. I'll admit it was something I was skeptical about at first. After all, this is in the evening, a time when, frankly, many families are already settling down and getting their children down for bed, reducing usage anyway. And how many times do you get the emails to "stick it" to the gas companies by not filling up on the first Tuesday of the month? It felt like a similar idea on the outset. Unplug for an hour - what difference would it make in the world view?

Sure, some actions would be delayed - like you might get on the computer or watch your TV later. But you may also reduce your overall usage for the day, which aggregated reduces the stress on our already taxed infrastructure. And during that hour, you might actually unplug - and reconnect with your family. Read a book. Play a game. Go outside!

And then I read some more and realized this wasn't just about this hour. Earth Hour is really about getting you started. The site offers you ideas on what to do after that hour: raise funds for rainforest preservation, speak out for England's energy bill, make your home more energy-efficient. It's a simple statement, but with electrical systems being taxed from development and how Japan has brought to light the threats of nuclear energy, it's something worth considering.

Will you celebrate Earth Hour this year? Have you in the past? Share your experiences here.

2 comments:

Lisa Sharp said...

Earth Hour doesn't help overall energy use really at all but I still very much support it and did join in and have every year.

It's not about using less power it just about awareness. It's to send a powerful message that we need to think about our actions. I love the Beyond the Hour campaign this year to help keep people on track.

SustainaMom said...

Alas, I was burning the midnight oil last night. I think I worked through Earth Hour last year, too.

I don't know that Earth Hour practiced among individuals helps to raise awareness, although I think it will be fun to participate with my son in a year or two.

However, I do think that seeing major landmarks and buildings go dark can be the beginning of an important conversation.

I did an article about Earth Hour for a newsletter last year and I did find the pictures rather amazing in terms of realizing just how much energy is wasted lighting empty buildings at night (even though safety is one of the reasons for the light). Here is the link to the pictures on the Earth Hour Media Center if anyone is interested:

http://www.earthhour.org/mediasite/photos.aspx

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