The next Earth Hour is Saturday the 28th of March 2009 at 8.30pm (EST in Australia).
Earth Hour first took place 2007 in Sydney, Australia when 2.2 million homes and businesses switched off their lights for one hour on a particular date. 2.2 million!!! Then in 2008 Earth Hour went global and the numbers grew to 50 million!!! Even the lights of the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, the Colosseum in Rome, and the Sydney Opera House were turned off. Last year in my community alone, people taking part in Earth Hour contributed to dropping the energy usage by 14%, which was the equivalence of removing 2500 cars off the road or planting another 16,417 trees!
That’s a lot of people saying ‘yes’ to helping the earth and doing something positive about global warming.
Why then is it that the local politicians – at least in the community that I’m part of – still fail to have environmental issues on their agenda when asking for our votes? Is it that they cannot commit to slowing the high density development that is encroaching on our wildlife reserves, and one of the last few places that Koalas call home?
Now, I need to tell you that I’m definitely not a politically biased person. I don’t have a sway towards one party over another. I simply weigh up the pros and cons of each, use LTSH’s (Long Term Suffering Husband) ‘test and measure’ principle and decide who I wish to back. Obviously I do have a bias towards environmental iniatives and humanitarian issues, so I was interested in the new Energy Efficient Home Package that the current government has brought in. It covers free homeowner insulation or an assistance package for insulating, and a rebate on installing a solar hot water system in your home. There was some small print associated with the package (isn’t there always???) to do with ‘eligible owner-occupiers’… so I guess I need to do a little more research on the pros and cons, and who can take advantage of the package. But at least it is heading in the right direction.
Such government incentives can only come about by us, the people, telling the Pollies that we want things to change, and what better way to have your voice heard than through casting your vote with your light switch on the 28th of March this year.
The organisers of Earth Hour are hoping to get 1 billion people to switch off their lights at the appointed hour. I know the Sustainability Nut Household will contribute to those numbers – join us by registering your intention at Earth Hour. If you live in a different time zone to ours, simply use the handy timing tool on the site to find out when you can syncronize with the rest of the world and switch off those lights… and imagine what difference you would continue to make if you maybe left your lights off for a further hour after that…