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Earth Hour

Did You Participate in Earth Hour?

Friday, April 04, 2008 by: Lynn Berry
Tags: Earth Hour, health news, Natural News

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(NewsTarget) On Saturday, the 29th of March, cities around the world turned off their lights for an hour as part of a global movement to stop climate change. The event started in Sydney by the World Wild Fund for Nature last year and has now spread to 35 countries.

Lights went off first in Suva (Fiji) and Christchurch (New Zealand), then capital cities in Australia. Followed by Manila (Philippines), Bangkok (Thailand), and cities in Denmark, and Dublin (Ireland). 15 to 18 hours later, lights started going off in Canada and the U.S. The cities that participated were Montreal, Ottawa, Toronto, Atlanta, Chicago, Vancouver, San Francisco and Phoenix.

For religious reasons, Tel Aviv ran their Earth Hour on Thursday. People dined by candlelight and a concert was powered by biodiesel and people-powered bicycles. Organisers there believed the event helps to raise awareness about the environment in a country where the focus is on the Palestinian conflict.

While many people in the world have a choice about switching off the electricity, people in Gaza, not far from Tel Aviv, have no choice. Palestinians are not the only ones in the world without electricity.

Turning off the lights is a simple way to start cutting green house gas emissions and communities, organisations and individuals can all be involved. In addition, this simple action gets people thinking about global warming and of other ways they can contribute.

Last year in Sydney, around 2.2 million people turned off their lights and other non-essential electrical appliances which led to a 10% energy reduction. This year, energy authorities estimated that the cut in electricity in the eastern states equated to two large power stations being shut down.

Many Government departments, including Defence with around 1,300 buildings around Australia, participated in the event. And the Federal Government is looking at reducing energy and impacts on the environment. It is even considering powering Parliament house by renewable energy.

We are so used to flicking the switch for instant power, we wonder what to do without it. However, from the range of alternatives some businesses and communities have come up with, its clear we can do without it - for a little while. For example, a restaurant in Bondi Beach organised for their staff to wear solar-powered caps; for many, candle lit dinners and picnics accompanied by acoustic music were available. Other ideas included star gazing, telling stories, 'pin the tail on the donkey' and similar games.

Of course, reducing energy consumption for an hour won't be enough to effect climate change. Lights may use around 10-15% of home energy, but the real energy guzzlers are air-conditioning, heating, and clothes dryers. Eliminating the need for these or using renewable energy will impact on energy use.

If you'd like to have your community, business or city involved next year sign up at
(www.earthhour.org) .

About the author

Lynn Berry is passionate about personal development, natural health care, justice and spirituality. She has a website at www.lynn-berry.com.

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