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Thursday, March 26, 2009



Earth Hour 2009 is approaching quickly, this Saturday, March 28th, 8:30pm. At that time, wherever you are, you are asked to "unplug." According to the source of all knowledge (;-0), Wikipedia, Earth Hour is

"an annual international event created by the WWF (World Wide Fund for Nature/World Wildlife Fund), held on the last Saturday of March, that asks households and businesses to turn off their non-essential lights and electrical appliances for one hour to raise awareness towards the need to take action on climate change. It was pioneered by WWF Australia and the Sydney Morning Herald in 2007,[1] and achieved worldwide participation in 2008."

Now last year being the first year that Earth Year went "global," I am rather unaware of the U.S.'s response as I was actually in Canada at the time, but I can tell you that Ontario's preparation and response was fairly remarkable. The media, the "buzz," and the resulting response (the city of Toronto reported a 8.7% reduction in electricity consumption during the hour - quite considerable for prime time Saturday night in a city of over 2.5 million).

Toronto Skyline 2008 ~ top: during "Earth Hour"; bottom: before "Earth Hour"

No, the city did not "go black." Not every single business and household turned out every single light and unplugged every appliance...restaurants kept cooking, but used candles during the hour for lighting. We wandered into a wonderful pub for dinner during the hour, and I'll admit, it was quite dark and reading the menu was a bit of a struggle by candlelight, but we knew we were a part of something bigger, a part of a global experience and statement of awareness. No, we weren't changing the world overnight, but it is these small steps, each of us can take.

So, what about Earth Hour 2009? Where will you be? Have you thought about what steps you might take for this hour, to continue or begin the journey of awareness? Think about it...

Here's a great article about one reporter's "relationship with electricity" that makes us consider our own:


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