Earth Hour: Lights Out!

March 16, 2011, 10:12 am

Ever wonder what the world would look like without any lights? With Earth Hour approaching and looking to be bigger than ever, grab your camera and get some evidence.

Earth Hour is organized by the World Wildlife Fund and promotes energy conservation across the globe. It encourages people to turn off their lights for one hour to make a statement against climate change. A central message is that one person can make a difference and help end climate change. This year Earth Hour will take place worldwide on March 26, 2011 at 8:30 p.m.

Since 2007, Earth Hour has grown dramatically. In 2010, a total of 128 countries and territories participated in the event. The lights have been turned off on countless iconic landmarks including the Eiffel Tower, Golden Gate Bridge, Pyramids at Giza and Big Ben. This year, Earth Hour is encouraging all participants to try and go as far beyond the hour as the can. After all, who doesn’t enjoy reading by candlelight every one in a while? If you need some more ideas, WWF has created a list of 10 things to do during Earth hour: http://wwf.panda.org/how_you_can_help/campaign/earth_hour/10_things_to_do/.

Although Earth Hour comes once a year, there are plenty of things you can do every single day to help reduce energy usage. It is important to remember that every little decision we make can have a greater impact on the environment. Always be mindful of turning off unnecessary appliances and lights. Outside of saving the environment, these little tricks will help cut your energy bill as well.

1. Use a power strip. Sometimes even after we turn off our computers they still use electricity. These small amounts of energy can add up to a big amount of money. It is estimated that most homes in the United States spend about $100 a year to power items in low power mode. By using a power strip, you can disconnect multiple electronics with the flick of one switch!

2. Take a Look at the Lights. Replace your regular incandescent light bulbs with energy efficient light bulbs. These light bulbs use 75% less energy, which saves the environment and money on your next energy bill. The bulbs also last up to ten times longer as the regular ones, making the amount of time you change a lot less frequent. One important place to check out is the porch. These lights are often left on all evening, so be sure to use an energy efficient blub or get a motion detector so the light is only on when someone approaches.

3. Use energy star appliances. Energy Star appliances are proven to reduce the amount of energy. For large appliances, like a clothes washer, Energy Star appliances use about a third less energy. For the average family that does about 400 loads per year, Energy Star products helps save a large amount of energy.

4. Disconnecting Chargers and Power Adapters. We’ve all done it. You quickly grab your phone from its charger as you run out the door and leave the charger sitting in the outlet all day. Even though your phone is not plugged in, the adapter is still draining electricity. Make sure you unplug the entire unit. Additionally, once your device is done charging, do not leave it plugged in. Although it has reached its full capacity, it will continue to use energy.

5. Clean your plate. Statistics show that by cleaning your plate and rinsing it before placing it in the dishwasher, you use less energy and water. Be sure only to run a dishwasher when it has a full load rather than when it is empty. These water saving measures make a huge difference.

Image: Earth Hour "Before and After" at Mount Rushmore. Credit: © WWF / David McCann
 

Comments

I wish we could get rid of some street lights as well....

Perhaps after a certain hour if not altogether.

Anyone else on board with this?