Categorized | Earth Hour Special

Earth Hour: A Success or a Bandwagoner’s Event

Posted on 21 March 2012 by admin

Nayha Rizvi

Saturday, March 31, 2012, will be the sixth annual Earth Hour, where from 8:30 pm – 9:30 pm, the entire world turns off the lights, and all appliances using electricity, to help our troubled environment.
With all the campaigning and the large numbers, it’s hard not to wonder whether the popularity of Earth Hour is general care from the people or just the need for adolescents to conform to their friends. Many teens agree that the success of Earth Hour is just an hour-long fanfare. Rida Jaffery, 17, when it comes to the effectiveness of Earth Hour, she “personally, (doesn’t) think Earth Hour works, because the thing is everyone gets hyped and stuff, just for like one day… and after that they go back to their normal habits.” The brutal honesty of Beza Abebe, 17, sums up the feelings of the majority of young Canadians. For her, “…It’s hard… to believe it’s going to happen in (our) lifetime…As bad as it sounds, (she doesn’t) feel the urgency.” Like Jaffery, she believes Earth Hour is all about the hype and not about the long-term change it’s supposed to instill. She said,“…I don’t think it’s a major part of our culture, as Canadians at least…” Neena Raj, 18, on the other hand, looks at the campaign more positively. An environmentalist at heart, she said, “I think it does raise awareness…and I think it’s a great opportunity for people who don’t normally bother doing anything for the environment to do something.” She firmly believes that despite not every single person being involved, those who are make a huge difference. The mixed responses from different teens indicate that the success of Earth Hour is driven by some passionate people, but the numbers are achieved by the band wagoners (those who hopped aboard because everyone else was participating).
Despite their opinions, most people are playing a part in helping out the environment, from using reusable grocery bags, to turning off the shower between shampooing and rinsing. Rida Jaffery, in particular, makes sure she does her part in helping the Earth by using as little energy around the house as possible, and printing her school work double sided to save paper, for, which she admits she gets mocked. “I think it’s important for us at least, and for the future generations (to help out the Earth) because we’ve wasted a lot so far, might as well start conserving it now to help us later. Anything I can do… I do it.”, she affirms. Earth Hour, it would seem, has achieved its objective, with so many people changing small aspects of their lives to add to the bigger cause. However, the message is still only restricted to a small population.
The problem lies not with the scale of the project, but the lack of activities and events to go with the plan. Those who are enthusiastic about Earth Hour plan small events to raise greater awareness. However, the events do not have widespread public access, which limits the ability for this grand and amazing campaign to reach the masses and actually make a difference. There also needs to be more media attention leading up to the day of Earth Hour. Many people do not know that Earth Hour is on March 31.

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