Can we make every hour earth hour?

Earth Hour poster

On Saturday, March 27, 2012 at 8:30 p.m., people around the world will turn off their lights (some will turn off everything that runs on electricity, even computers!).

In Gore’s Landing, a lot of us go for walks during that hour. There are a few street lights in the hamlet that we wish could be turned off, but overall the absence of artificial light is wonderful. If it’s a clear night the stars and moon illuminate our way as they have always done for Earth’s citizens.

Back at home we sit in the soft glow of olive oil lamps. It’s a good time to contemplate what else we can do to lessen our impact on the environment. Drive less? Use reusable bags? Don’t run water or leave lights on unnecessarily? I don’t know about you, but I get tired of hearing the same old list of small things. I’ve been doing those things for years. Since my home energy audit and fixing the things that were advised, I’ve had an ongoing challenge with myself to see how low my electric bill can go and how long I can make a tank of heating oil last and how long I can go without filling the car’s gas tank. The challenge is fun, but with prices always going up, even when I use less the costs increase.

How do we go beyond turning off the water when brushing our teeth?

There’s only so much we can do as right-thinking individuals. This is the stumbling block that frustrates me. Governments, corporations, people whose heads are still stuck in the sand, and those who simply don’t give a d*mn, trip us up every which way.

In my own tiny hamlet we see the wrong-headedness of our township councilors as they instruct employees to hack down trees instead of maintaining them, and hire consultants who say we must install paved sidewalks & gutters that direct runoff straight into the lake instead of leaving the ditches and nature to look after things. Garbage is strewn everywhere by visitors who just don’t get it; ATVs and snowmobiles trespass on property that is clearly posted “no wheeled vehicles” by owners who generously welcome walkers…

Even forgetting about climate change for a moment, the things just enumerated are things that add to or detract from everyday life. I don’t have the time, energy or money to participate in every committee or organization, or to lobby all levels of government to do what needs doing — that’s their job! How do we escape from this conundrum?

Turning the lights off for an hour on Saturday night might just open someone’s mind for the first time when they see how brightly those stars can shine! Simple? Yes! Effective? Who knows?

6 Replies to “Can we make every hour earth hour?”

  1. Andree Frezza says: Reply

    Reports show that the United States topped the Earth Hour participation with an estimated 80,000,000 people, 318 cities and 8 states participating. The Philippines saw participation from 647 cities and towns or over 15 million Filipinos were estimated to have joined in the hour-long lights-off at 8:30 – 9:30 PM local time. This was followed by Greece with 484 cities and towns participating, and Australia with 309.`.

    Kind thoughts

  2. We completely agree with. It is our duty to save the earth and show our future generations how beautiful it is. every minute should be about saving Earth and not harming it.

  3. Yes Ken, we’ve heard a lot of backlash against consumerism & ‘super-sizing’ & things of that ilk in the last few years, but it doesn’t seem to be having any affect. Corporations care about nothing but the bottom line and government listens only to corporations. (And that’s my pessimistic view for today!)

  4. How do we escape from this conundrum? This is tough Jane, for every step we take to conserve our world there is a flood of money promoting consumerism and waste.

    But if people will just read, write and talk about it more, maybe a solid movement for positive change will emerge. Keep up with the blogging!

  5. meg and carlo says: Reply

    Hey Jane.

    Cool to find you at this hour. My family particpated and it feels good!

    Thanks for your website

    1. It was fun, wasn’t it? And it’s nice to sit in candlelight imagining that that was all they had way back when!

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