Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Earth Hour 2011

Earth Hour 2011.


On Saturday, March 26, 2011, from local time 8:30 to 9:30 p.m., millions of people will turn off all the lights in their house, garage, barn, workshop, wherever. Computers will go offline and televisions will go dark.

Earth Hour began in Australia in 2007 to raise awareness about global warming and is an idea that has swept around the world. In 2010, it was estimated about 90,000,000 homes in the United States participated. Mine was one of them.

I'm sure to get flamed for this, but for a lot of us average folks, the drumbeat about global warming is like any other drone in the background - it's gone to white noise. I think that for me, since I'm taking what steps I can, I don't feel the need to hear it over and over and over. I GET IT ALREADY, OKAY!?!?!?!

Whew. I feel better now. Anyway, Earth Hour is coming up March 26th. My partner and I have discussed it, and we've agreed to pull the plug on everything excerpt the refrigerator. We're willing, but not to the point of needlessly ruining the stuff in the freezer because this year, we're doing one better than just an hour. At 9:00 PM our time, we're shutting it all down and going to bed. That's right. No electric in the house at all for the entire night, except for the 'fridge.

Although if it's below freezing outside, the heat will be left on, albeit at a lower setting. Frozen pipes? How stupid would that be?

I know some people might be disgruntled that I can cut my carbon footprint for eight or nine hours without experiencing a lot of pain, but that's the way it is. Naysayers will surely point out that during the night we use less power, and this is true. But we'll chop at least three hours of kilowatt usage out because it's the weekend.

We're wondering how much money we'll save on the next electric bill. Not the point of Earth Hour, but it's only natural to wonder. Heck, I'd be willing to flip the breakers every weekend and see what happens. So it would only be a 1.5% monthly reduction. What if 30 million households did that?

The point is, my husband and I can make some small changes and feel no pain. And if we can do it, anyone can. Yes, it's actually very insignificant to our personal lives, but if others are doing similar things, it's going to add up.

We need to use less and it doesn't have to hurt. We need to make a difference, and we don't have to do it alone. One hour for one household isn't even a blip on the radar. But NINETY MILLION houses in the US? That makes a difference. Add about 150 countries around the world and it's an even bigger difference.

Earth Hour. I'm proud to be a part of it.


Melissa Bradley said...

Cool! I'm participating as well. They always say if you change just one little thing and start doing stuff you wouldn't normally do it has a ripple effect.

Great post. :)

KC Kendricks said...

You don't have to tear your life apart to make a difference, and I that's my main point. Pick something and form the habit.