EarthHour has been around since 2007 when in Sydney, Australia, the lights were shut off for one hour as a symbol in protecting our planet. Organized by the World Wide Fund for Natura (WWF), it has become a global initiative, with over 135 countries and millions of people participating.
But why participate? Shutting off lights for 1 hour a year doesn’t prevent global warming, but it does send an important message.
Here are my top 10 reasons why Earth Hour is important and the key role it plays in making a better World:
1. With over 7 billion people on Earth, it is a known fact that human activity has a tremendous impact on the planet. There is an urgent need to find alternatives ways for all of us to live in harmony with our environment.
2. The idea of Earth Hour is just awesome! It is very inspiring when you think that millions of people in over 135 countries are partaking in this event, uniting under the same cause. It shows the power of unity.
3. Small changes can have a huge impact! During Earth Hour 2013, Toronto recorded a 205 megawatt (MW) reduction, which is equivalent to taking 92,000 homes off the grid! In Bangkok, Thailand, they recorded a 1,699 MW reduction which eliminated roughly 1,073 tons of carbon dioxide emissions.
4. We all want to provide a healthy future to the next generation. Earth Hour is just one more step in the right direction.
5. Since 1990, the World’s energy consumption has increased by almost 40%, mostly using fossil fuels. With our population continuing to grow, imagine the consumption in 20 years if we do not change our ways.
6. Dimmed lights and the use of candlelight remind us of the simpler times and small enjoyments. For those living in the city, it will give you the opportunity to star gaze (if there are no clouds of course), a rare pleasure when living downtown.
7. Reducing the use of electricity also reduces your costs. You will discover that by switching off certain apparels around the house your bill will be significantly lower at the end of the month.
8. An hour without electricity respectfully shows us how much our lifestyle depends on it, and how fast everything can change at the turn of a switch.
9. Almost 70% of the World’s electricity is produced by burning fossil fuels. If planned correctly, we could produce all of the energy we need from renewable sources such as wind, solar and geothermal.
10. Finally, Earth Hour has inspired many countries to go beyond the symbol. As a direct result, Uganda planted ½ ,million trees against 6000 hectares of deforestation. In Argentina, an additional 3.4 million hectares of sea are now protected.
This Saturday, on March 29th at 8:30pm, Earth Hour will once again take place. At the BEST WESTERN PLUS Chateau Granville Hotel & Suites & Conference Centre, we will do our part by serving in our restaurant, The Edge Social Grille & Lounge, a no-cook appetizer under the candlelight to encourage sustainable practices. We also encourage our guests to turn off their lights and make their contribution to the movement.
What are your reasons (or not) for participating in Earth Hour? We would love to hear from you.