The international movement of Earth Hour has been wildly successful, and while some may question its importance in terms of impact – it does have one! Hundreds of millions of people turn off their lights across the planet in a sweeping motion that reminds us to take a step back from all the technology, and the incredible amount of electricity we waste every day.
And it’s unifying! Last year I spent Earth Hour at the Trevi Fountain in Rome. While it was a rather dismal turning off of the lights there, there was a huge gathering and a buzz in the air. The WWF tents were swamped, and all the tourists milling about were there for a different reason – unity! Standing together for something positive. Even though I barely spoke Italian, I could understand the excitement of joining together with other people for something besides self-indulgence. How can you not embrace the collective energy of hundreds of millions of people performing a positive act together? A couple years before that I was in a restaurant in Toronto, and had completely forgotten. The owner came around and asked everyone’s permissions to turn off the lights, and before you knew it, a standard dinner date had turned into an amazing and memorable candlelit evening!
There are NO boundaries in Earth Hour – no country lines, no religious boundaries, no political divisions. We all stand together for a sweeping hour in the name of OUR planet. The one we all share. The one we all have a duty to protect from our own damaging practices.
So try it out. Join thousands of cities, and hundreds of millions of people and today (March 26th) at 8:30 PM , turn off your lights for an hour (or more!) Have a romantic candlelit dinner. Walk out to a park and look at the brilliant array of stars. Play Scrabble on the living room floor with your children and candles. Just lay down and feel the lack of constant electrical buzzing. Go to a famous landmark! Sign up at (www.earthhour.org) and commit to stand together with so many people. Spread the word to your family and friends!
And then beyond that. Try making sure all the lights are off when you leave the house. Turn the lights off when you leave a room. Turn your computers off at night. Have everything plugged into a power surge bar, and just turn that off when you leave. So much electricity is wasted daily by appliances left plugged in (up to 10%), and that takes both time, money, and resources to power. You’ll save money and reduce your environmental footprint. Let’s start to think for ourselves: for our big, beautiful planet that we all share.
It’s not too late. And every act counts. And together – we can make a difference.