Earth Hour is a global event that started in Sydney, Australia in 2007. In four short years, it’s grown to be the biggest global display of climate action in the world.
On Saturday March 26, 2011 at 8:30 pm (local time) iconic buildings and landmarks from Asia Pacific to Europe and Africa to the Americas will switch off for exactly one hour.
People across the world from all walks of life will switch off their lights and come together in celebration and contemplation of the one thing we all have in common – our planet.
This year, Earth Hour organizers and veteran participants are eager to point out ways that we can all “switch off” our wasteful behaviors and work together to create a better future for our planet…every minute of the day!
1. Take The Pledge
By taking the official Earth Hour pledge, you demonstrate your commitment to take your conservative behavior’s beyond the hour. Signing your name is just one, simple action that represents the start of your personal journey to fight more sustainable earth.
2. Vote With Your Dollar
With all the chaos and corruption in our government, it’s often hard for people to see how their vote matters. But one thing both politicians and corporations will listen to is money. Make your money demand action on climate change by thinking about what you buy and where you buy it.
Look for labels and certifications that identify food and other consumer goods produced with minimal or no negative impact on the environment or society. But don’t just stop there–research the labels themselves to make sure they’re not guilty of greenwashing or misleading claims.
3. Use Less Energy. Period.
Being energy efficient doesn’t mean you have to live in the dark (unless it’s Earth Hour!) TopTen USA is a nonprofit organization that identifies and publicizes the most energy-efficient products on the market. Check out their new website to see the most energy- and money-saving models of almost anything in your home.
But don’t just depend on your appliances to save energy for you. Turn things off, or plug them into smart power strips that will eliminate vampire energy usage. Replace incandescent light bulbs with CFL’s and if you can, LEDs. If possible, install an energy monitoring device that can will monitor your usage whether you’re home or not.
4. Write A Letter
Pay attention to discussions of energy issues in the news, and commit to writing one of your elected representatives at the local, state or Federal level. Tell them you believe climate change is important; and that you support the development and implementation of a climate action plan to reduce emissions and prepare for climate change impacts.
5. Commute By Carpooling Or Using Mass Transit
Over a quarter of the vehicle-miles travelled by households are for commuting to and from work – usually with one person in the vehicle. Carpooling and mass transit are among options that offer big reductions in carbon emissions. When you must drive, plan and combine trips to reduce the miles you need to travel. Better yet, take someone with you so they can leave their car behind.
How Will You Celebrate Earth Hour 2011? Share your plans in a comment!
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Image Credit: earthhour.org