Sunday, March 27, 2011

Earth Hour

Hour - Chile
Earth Hour started in 2007 in Sydney, Australia when 2.2 million individuals and more than 2,000 businesses turned their lights off for one hour to take a stand against climate change. Only a year later and Earth Hour had become a global sustainability movement with more than 50 million people across 35 countries/territories participating. Global landmarks such as the Sydney Harbour Bridge, CN Tower in Toronto, Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, and Rome’s Colosseum, all stood in darkness, as symbols of hope for a cause that grows more urgent by the hour.

In March 2009, hundreds of millions of people took part in the third Earth Hour. Over 4000 cities in 88 countries/territories officially switched off to pledge their support for the planet, making Earth Hour 2009 the world’s largest global climate change initiative.

On Saturday 27 March, Earth Hour 2010 became the biggest Earth Hour ever. A record 128 countries and territories joined the global display of climate action. Iconic buildings and landmarks from Asia Pacific to Europe and Africa to the Americas switched off. People across the world from all walks of life turned off their lights and came together in celebration and contemplation of the one thing we all have in common – our planet.

Earth Hour 2011 will take place on Saturday 26 March at 8.30PM (local time). This Earth Hour we want you to go beyond the hour, so after the lights go back on think about what else you can do to make a difference. Together our actions add up.

Why? The power bills won't go down dramatically with the lights dimmed for just one hour. (And don't worry, there won't be a power surge from people turning lights off and then back on all at once.) The goal of the World Wildlife Fund-sponsored event isn't to save energy on this one day -- it's to raise awareness of climate change and energy conservation all year round.

Earth Hour is only 60 minutes. It's a start, maybe a wake-up call for some when they see landmarks and cities go dark. What we do the rest of the day and the rest of the year is what counts in the long run. So use this hour in the dark to plan what you're really going to do to help the planet. There are lots of things that take less than one hour but add up to a lot of conservation. For example, you could start doing any of these things:

•Turn off lights when you leave a room for 15 minutes or longer.
•Drink tap water instead of bottled water.
•Put your computer in power-save mode.
•Turn off video game consoles when not in use.
•Seal air leaks, adjust your water heater, and control your thermostat to lower energy usage and waste.
•Go meatless on Mondays.
•Watch out for energy vampires around the house and unplug the biggies.
•Swap out all your light bulbs for CFLs.
•Stop catalogs and junk mail from piling up in your mailbox.
•Reduce the brightness of your TV set to the "home" mode.
•Use up leftovers, compost, and avoid wasting food.
•Find out how walkable your hometown is and try walking to your weekend errands.
•Fix a leaky faucet or toilet.
•Use the low-water and low-heat settings on your dishwasher, and don't pre-rinse dishes.
•Hang your clothes to dry on a clothesline in spring and summer.
•Take public transit to work or school.
•Install dimmer switches on your lights and plug appliances into smart power switches.

Earth Hour dimmed important landmarks all over the world :

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