While we have been distracted by our personal and national economic disasters and pounding out a universal healthcare plan, giant chunks of ice have continued to drop off the Arctic cap, while more species become “threatened” (in danger of becoming endangered in the foreseeable future), and more endangered species edge closer to extinction.
An event on Saturday, March 27, is meant to refocus our attention back to a problem that needs our attention—the global, lights-out event called Earth Hour will take place at 8:30 p.m.
Earth Hour began in 2007 in Sydney, Australia, when more than two million people and thousands of businesses turned out their lights. Power consumption dropped more than 10 percent in that hour, the equivalent of taking over 48,000 cars off the road for an hour. Homes and businesses across the city darkened, and the message beamed brightly—climate change can be slowed, and individuals working together can make a difference.
In 2008, Earth Hour sprouted from a one-city event to a global movement when more than 50 million people participated. In 2009, nearly 1 billion people in 87 countries on seven continents turned out to turn off. This year, Earth Hour aims to reach out to over 1 billion people in almost 100 countries around the globe.
If you flip your switches to off on Saturday, you will be joining the rest of the world in making a statement about climate change.
How do you plan to celebrate the largest climate shout-out in history? I’ll leave it up to you… But you might even consider turning off all your electric devices for an hour—yes, even the boob tube. Most of our daily activities—like watching TV, and texting and Facebooking friends—require loads of electricity. Why not set aside your handful of handheld devices and turn off all the screens for just one hour?
What can you do in that dark hour? How about spending some time thinking about how you can help trim carbon dioxide emissions at home, in your neighborhood and at work. By thinking of ways to reduce our energy use and live more sustainably every day, each of us can make a positive impact. Make a personal pledge to do more—recycle, drive less, turn off or unplug electronics, and more.
And Earth Hour doesn’t have to end at precisely at 9:31 p.m. If you really want to see a difference, make Earth Hour a habit every day. One of the ways we’re going to stabilize our climate is making real changes in our everyday lives. That change can begin with Earth Hour, and end with a healthier planet.