Earth Hour ’08
What is the impact of our existence on the Earth? What is the true cost, in terms of renewable and non-renewable resources, of our energy consumption over the course of a week? … a day? … an hour? Is it really too much for the Earth to bear? What changes can we make as individuals and as societies (large and small) to alter the balance from mindless, selfish consumption to something a bit more realistic and sustainable?
These are excellent questions to ponder with Earth Day coming up (April 22, 2008) and Earth Hour just hours away (March 29)! “Going Green” is in vogue right now -it’s the politically correct stance to adopt. There is a large industry that has developed around the topics of artificial, human-influenced global warming, ecology and environmentalism – and not without justification. As a species we tend to consume more of Earth’s resources at a faster pace than they can possibly be replenished, even assuming all environmental destruction world-wide stops immediately.
So what happens if we simply turn out the lights for an hour?
That’s the question the folks at Earth Hour asked, and according to them,
“…if the greenhouse reduction achieved in the Sydney CBD during Earth Hour  was sustained for a year, it would be equivalent to taking 48,616 cars off the road for a year.”
An hour without superfluous electronics and energy waste… An hour to cut down our mass consumerism, our reckless use of Earth’s resources. An hour to show some consideration for our planet, humanity and for the other species with whom we share the Earth. An hour to have a positive impact on our environment. An hour. Too much to ask?
But perhaps instead of just focusing on the “greenness” of this idea, we should also consider this a good opportunity to personally reconnect to our environment and our families – to consciously and intentionally remove some of those insulated walls with which we constantly surround ourselves. To go without our lights, media, and other conveniences for a single hour has an enormous potential to reconnect us with our families, with our community, with our world, and our universe. Take an hour and turn off the lights. Go look at the stars, take a night walk, cuddle with the kids, play a game, stare into your spouse’s candle-lit eyes. Meditate. BE. And make a statement while you’re at it.
And for some more information on Earth Hour, Earth Day, our ecological footprints, global warming and environmental issues…
- World Wildlife Fund
- Global Footprint Network
- Information on Ecological Footprints
- Ecological Footprint Quiz (basic comparative footprint to others in your country)
- Information on Earth Hour, March 29 2008
- Earth Hour 2008 Web site
- Earth Day Network: Information, Earth Day events and activities, lesson plans, opportunities to show your consumerist side, petitions and politics…
- Ecological calculators: everything from electronic pollution to carbon-emissions to nutrition…
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