Today at 8 p.m. local time, turn off your lights.
The World Wildlife Fund is encouraging everyone to turn off their lights for one hour on March 29 at 8 p.m. local time as a statement about climate change. They call it Earth Hour and you can join up here to let them know you’ll be taking part. I’m totally down with it and will be turning off my lights. But I have two things I want to say about it.
1. This is just a start. This is one hour and having millions of people turn off their lights for an hour will have a measurable impact on energy usage. But it’s only one hour. We live 87601 hours every year on this planet, and Earth Hour is just one of those. When you join up with Earth Hour this year, make a commitment to make changes in those other 8759 hours. Drive less. Refuse paper cups and plastic shopping bags in favour of travel mugs and reusable tote bags. Wash your clothes in cold water using eco-friendly detergents2. We only have one planet and turning your lights out for 1 hour a year just isn’t going to be enough.
2. I have a bone to pick with BC Hydro on this whole Earth Hour thing. I noticed something they say in their radio ad promoting Earth Hour and I’ve just checked and it’s on their website too. Here’s a screen shot:
Notice anything off in the text? Take a closer look:
Unnecessary lights? Are you kidding me? The idea behind Earth Hour isn’t that you just turn off lights in rooms where you aren’t. It’s to turn off all your lights. You should always turn off unnecessary lights, every single hour of every single day! Turning off unnecessary lights is not making a statement! And they have this text on their website directly under the Earth Hour & WWF logos, making you really think this is representing the WWF‘s Earth Hour. That’s lame BC Hydro… big time lame!
OK, so turn off your lights at 8 p.m. today for one whole hour… I’m sure you can find something fun to do by candlelight during that time, no? And make it the first of many many more eco-friendly hours, the whole year through!
1Or, in this case of leap years like this year, 8784 hours.
2Looking for ideas? Check out the blog Green is Sexy for daily tips on living a greener life.3
3Although I do take issue with their willingness to post giant pictures of spiders4
4This post is NSFA (not safe for arachnophobes).