Earth hour is almost upon us. Will you be going dark at 8:30 p.m.?
Earth Hour is a global World Wildlife Fund initiative that began in Sydney, Aulstralia in 2007, when 2 million people switched off their lights. In 2008, more than 50 million people all over the world took part in the action, according to Earth Hour's website. In 2009 almost 1 billion people worldwide switched off their lights. By 2011, Earth Hour involved 135 countries with more than 1.8 billion people participating.
In countries and on continents where the hour has already occurred, hundreds of world landmarks from Berlin's Brandenburg Gate to the Great Wall of China went dark earlier today.
Earth Hour is held on the last Saturday of March every year, and began as a Sydney-only event in 2007. The Sydney Opera House was dimmed again this year.
The goal is to inspire people to reduce their energy consumption every day, not by sitting in the dark for an hour each night, but by taking simple steps that can have a dramatic effect.
Here are a few examples of how to support Earth Hour year long:
- Switch to energy-efficient CFL or LED lights instead of traditional incandescent bulbs. Lighting accounts for about 5 percent of residential greenhouse gas emissions.
- Turn off or unplug computers, televisions, cell-phone chargers, microwave ovens, and other appliances and electrical devices when they’re not in use instead of leaving them on standby.
- Turn off lights when you leave a room or finish work for the day.
- Encourage your company to shut off lights and unused appliances when no one is working.
- Heat only the rooms you use regularly.
- Use less hot water.