Happy Monday everyone! You probably heard a lot about Earth Hour this past weekend. For those of you who don’t know about Earth Hour, it is a global event when millions of people turn off their lights and other non-essential electronics in their homes for one hour to show their concern for the environment. This year, Earth Hour was celebrated on March 23 from 8:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.
Earth Hour was started by the World Wildlife Fund in 2007 in Sydney, Australia and quickly became an annual international event. Earth Hour takes place in late March so that the sunset times are approximately the same in the northern and southern hemispheres due to the Autumn and Spring Equinoxes. This year, people from approximately 150 countries participated in Earth Hour!
In Hamilton on Saturday night, power usuage declined by 21 megawatts during Earth Hour. The city and Horizon Utilities teamed up to turn off lighting that isn’t necessary to public safety or essential services, such as corporate facility lighting and decorative downtown tree lighting. The City of Hamilton has been participating in Earth Hour since 2008.
It is important to realize that participating in Earth Hour by turning off your lights for one hour once a year isn’t enough to bring about positive environmental change! Instead, Earth Hour is meant to inspire people to change their lifestyles or daily activities in order to be more environmentally conscious.
South Korean students promote Earth Hour with an LED display
The city of Vancouver is an excellent example of how people committed to protecting the environment can make a huge difference. When Mayor Gregor Robertson took office in 2008, he made a commitment to make Vancouver the greenest city in the world by 2020. This year, the World Wildlife Fund named Vancouver the winner of its Earth Hour City Challenge! Vancouver was recognized because of the innovative action it has taken on climate change and for its dedication to creating a sustainable and vibrant urban environment for its citizens. Congratulations Vancouver on becoming “the 2013 Global Earth Hour Capital”!
In 2012, the team behind Earth Hour started the I Will If You Will campaign to challenge people to do something for the environment. You can visit www.youtube.com/earthhour to see what environmental challenges have been created by members of your community and what the challengers will do if you complete their challenge! Encourage your classmates, friends and family members to participate in environmental challenges with you and achieve some pretty great environmental outcomes!
The Toronto skyline during Earth Hour
Leave us a comment with your Earth Hour stories and tips – we’re eager to hear how you spent your Earth Hour and how you plan to go “beyond the hour” this year to protect the planet!
For more info on Earth Hour, the Earth Hour City Challenge and the I Will If You Will challenge, visit: www.earthhour.org