When I first heard about the Earth Hour 2 years ago, I thought it was something that had probably been around for years, and I had simply not heard about it. It’s a brilliant idea. I just didn’t think it could be a new one. However, I was surprised to learn that it’s only been around for 2 years.
To tell you a little about the event,
“ Earth Hour began in Sydney in 2007, when 2.2 million homes and businesses switched off their lights for one hour. In 2008 the message had grown into a global sustainability movement, with 50 million people switching off their lights. Global landmarks such as the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, Rome’s Colosseum, the Sydney Opera House and the Coca Cola billboard in Times Square all stood in darkness.
In 2009, Earth Hour is being taken to the next level, with the goal of 1 billion people switching off their lights as part of a global vote. Unlike any election in history, it is not about what country you’re from, but instead, what planet you’re from. VOTE EARTH is a global call to action for every individual, every business, and every community. A call to stand up and take control over the future of our planet. Over 74 countries and territories have pledged their support to VOTE EARTH during Earth Hour 2009, and this number is growing everyday. “
The idea is simple. Switch of all electrical appliances for one hour, from 8:30 pm to 9:30 pm, wherever you are, at your local time.
People I know have been talking about it for about a week now. And since I have initiated a lot of environmental activities in my community, people asked me specifically about it and if I was taking part. Even thought I did my best to publicize the event, I felt that I didn’t need to really take part in it and endure the discomfort of having no electricity for an hour, since I was already enlightened. I felt that the event was more for other people, to whom the good news hadn’t yet reached.
The goal of the programme is not so much to save an enormous amount of electricity on that one day of the year, but to instill in people, a lifelong value, to conserve as much as they can and protect the environment. And this is why I self righteously didn’t think I needed to participate.************
I’ve just gotten back home from an Earth Hour event organized at a local school. It was organized and sponsored by Coca Cola.
From 7:30 pm to 8:30 pm, some of my friends performed a string of popular alternative rock tracks. They had musicians playing the saxophone, the tabla, the bongos, along with electric and acoustic guitars.
And from 8:30 pm to 9:30 pm, the Earth Hour, the lights were dimmed and bits of The Inconvenient Truth were screened. It was followed by a choreography to Michael Jackson’s ‘Heal The World’, and ‘We Are The World’ and ended with a lucky-draw of people who had calculated their carbon footprints beforehand, and had submitted it.
I’m definitely going to organize a community event next year just like this, and would like to encourage you to do the same too.************
As much as I may have felt that I was already doing things right and didn’t need to participate, I have a confession to make.
I sleep with my lights on, almost everyday.
I’m usually reading or writing and just fall asleep over my work. But most of the time, being tired, I get under covers thinking I’ll shut the eye for 15 minutes, only to wake up the next morning with my lights still on. Of course I use CFL lights. But that’s beside the point. The point is, I am as guilty as anyone else. I must change. I must. So if it means taking the comfortable quilt off to switch of the lights, or being more disciplined when the alarm rings to tell me my 15 minutes is over, I must do it. I know that I’m not the problem, but I know that I am contributing to it. So it’s going to be different for me from today.