Archive | Earth Hour Special

SWITCHING OFF LIGHTS FOR EARTH HOUR

Posted on 30 March 2012 by admin

On March 31, from 8:30 to 9:30 p.m., the Region of Peel will join hundreds of other municipalities across the country and more than a billion people around the world in support of Earth Hour. Where safe and appropriate, Regional facilities will participate by switching off their lights for one hour.

“The Region of Peel remains committed to supporting the Earth Hour initiative,” said Regional Chair and CEO Emil Kolb. “I encourage our vibrant and diverse community to participate by finding small changes that collectively, make a big difference to our planet. We all need to do our part to combat climate change.”

There’s more to Earth Hour than just switching off lights for an hour once a year; it’s about giving people a voice and demonstrating that, if citizens around the world work together, they can create a better future for the planet. Last year, more than 5,200 cities and towns in 135 countries worldwide switched off their lights for Earth Hour 2011, sending a powerful message for action on climate change.

“At the Region, we’re continually working to meet energy needs through investments in efficiency, conservation, and clean, secure energy sources that contribute to the health and security of Peel’s energy future,” said Steve Hall, Director, Real Property Asset Management.

As part of this effort, the Region of Peel will be hosting its 8th annual Energy Matters Summit on May 28 and 29 at the Toronto Congress Centre. The Energy Matters Summit is now one of Ontario’s leading public sector energy management and climate change conferences. This unique event brings together both public and private agencies from across the globe to promote strategies that manage energy costs and control consumption. To register or to learn more, visit energymatterssummit.com .

To pledge your support for Earth Hour, or to learn more about how small changes can make a big difference for our planet, visit wwf.ca/earthhour .

The Regional Municipality of Peel was incorporated in 1974 on the principle that certain community and infrastructure services are most cost-effectively administered over a larger geographic area. The Region of Peel serves more than 1.3 million people and approximately 88,000 businesses in the cities of Brampton and Mississauga and the town of Caledon.

The City of Brampton is also gearing up for Earth Hour. In partnership with Hydro One Brampton, the Region of Peel and local school boards, the City is encouraging everyone to join the campaign and turn off lights and non-essential appliances during this time.

The City will turn off non-essential lights at various facilities during the designated hour on March 31. Lighting affecting public safety, security or service - such as streetlights, stoplights, park pathway lighting and parking lot lights at City facilities – will remain on. Brampton Fire and Emergency Services encourages residents to maintain a safe environment by using flashlights and avoiding candles and open flames. Public programming at recreation and community centers will also continue as normal.

“Once again the City of Brampton is encouraging residents, businesses and community organizations to make Earth Hour a success. This year, we hope to demonstrate that it is possible to take meaningful and practical local action against climate change,” says Mayor Susan Fennell.

According to statistics from Hydro One Brampton, our city saw an 8.5 megawatt decrease in energy consumption during Earth Hour last year. This is equivalent to removing 7,000 homes from Brampton’s distribution system for that hour.

The Earth Hour campaign was started in Sydney, Australia by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) in 2007, when 2.2 million people and 2,100 Sydney businesses turned off the lights for one hour. This campaign has now spread to major cities worldwide making Earth Hour a global movement. For more information please visit www.brampton.ca or call 311.

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Earth Hour: Turning on the Lights of Action

Posted on 21 March 2012 by admin

Puninda Singh
Waterloo

What started in 2007 in Sydney, Australia, has grown to become the largest environmental event in history. In 2011, more than 5,200 cities and 135 countries switched off their lights for Earth Hour, and since 2008, the City of Toronto has been an active participant. Earth Hour was initiated to raise awareness about the pertinent issue of climate change; however, I feel that somewhere down the line, the motive has been lost in translation. Some people feel a societal pressure to turn off their lights for the hour. Some people think that participating in the Earth Hour absolves them of all the environmental sins they have accumulated over the year, as if somehow in the darkness their conscience will be cleared.
If we could reverse climate change by merely uniting and switching off the lights for an hour once a year, we would be on our way to conquering the issue. Earth Hour is meant to be a symbolic event to remind and encourage us as a society to take substantial action against climate change. I like to look at it as a time for reflection and evaluation, of how we can personally reduce our ecological footprint. Earth hour is an action that requires a very minimal effort from our end, but does not really have a measurable impact to tackle the climate change problem.
Those individuals who revert to their previous electrical usage routine thinking they have done their part to save the planet undermine the intended message of Earth Hour. That sentiment may have to do in part with the false sense of accomplishment the participation in such an event may cause people to feel.
Earth Hour is an optimistic reminder for us to take bigger steps in our households. Simple actions like buying energy-efficient appliances, heating and cooling the home smartly, composting, recycling, making use of public transportation when possible, not keeping equipment on standby when not in use, can all together make a difference. A change in behavior, a shift from consumerist attitude to conservationist one is required in human psychology. It should serve as a call for governments to reinstitute and implement comprehensive ecological initiatives, especially in the context of present national environmental issues like the Keystone XL Pipeline.
For the past six years, the phenomenon of Earth Hour has allowed the issue of climate change to be realized on a global scale, even trickling down to the smallest communities. The hypocrisy of Earth Hour comes into question when words don’t translate to action. Participating in the event is an initial step; however, unless further steps or actions are undertaken, the entire message of the initiative is lost.

HISTORICAL TIMELINE OF EARTH HOUR

2004 – WWF Australia begins to look at new ways to take climate change mainstream after being confronted with serious scientific data

2005 – A campaign based on hope not fear, and the idea that everyone can take personal responsibility for the future of the planet we live on, is envisioned

2006 -Leo Burnett is tasked with the challenge of coming up with a campaign name that represents more than simply flicking off lights –Earth Hour is born.
Al Gore’s An Inconvenient Truth movie is released bringing worldwide attention to the issue of climate change
31 March 2007
The inaugural Earth Hour is held in Sydney Australia 7.30pm – 8.30pm, 2.2 million Sydneysiders and 2,100 businesses participate
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) releases a report highlighting the risks of rising temperatures, further highlighting the need for urgent solutions
April 2007
Plans are developed to make Earth Hour a national event in Australia, but international interest is high and cities began signing up to the next Earth Hour campaign
29 March 2008
Earth Hour is held in 371 cities and towns in more than 35 countries globally at 8pm-9pm. A highly conservative estimate concludes that 50 million people participate. This number could have been as high as 100 million people
28 March 2009
Earth Hour held on Saturday March 28 at 8.30pm-9.30pm. Hundreds of millions of people in more than 4,000 cities and towns across 88 countries switched off their lights for one hour, creating a visual mandate for action on climate change effectively kick-starting the world’s first global vote.
July 2009
Earth Hour’s Vote Earth campaign releases the Vote Earth symbol calling on citizens of the world to show their vote for Earth over Global Warming.
December 2009
Global awareness of climate change soars to unprecedented levels during an historic meeting of 192 nations at the UN Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen, Denmark. Vote Earth campaign culminates on 16th December with Earth Hour Copenhagen. The People’s Orb, is entrusted to UN Chef de Cabinet, Vijay Nambiar to be presented to world leaders. The People’s Orb takes centre stage in the plenary on the final day of the conference alongside UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-Moon, in front of President of the United States, Barack Obama, Danish Prime Minister Lars Løkke Rasmussen, COP President and Climate Minister Connie Hedegaard and over 100 heads of state.
27 March 2010
Earth Hour is held on Saturday March 27 at 8.30pm-9.30pm and succeeds in being a global call to action to stand up, to take responsibility, and lead the global journey to a sustainable future. A record 128 countries and territories take part and iconic buildings and landmarks from Asia Pacific to Europe and Africa to the Americas stand in darkness.
26 March 2011
Earth Hour is held on Saturday March 26 at 8.30pm-9.30pm and continues to break records for participation with 135 countries taking part. Earth Hour 2011 is the first Earth Hour to go beyond the hour, by asking supporters to think about what else they can do to make a difference. Beyondthehour.org is launched to give supporters a place to share stories and pledge to do more.
31 March 2012
Earth Hour 2012 will be held on Saturday March 31 at 8.30pm-9.30pm wherever you are in the world. So save the date and keep coming back to earthhour.org to find out what’s in store.

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Earth Hour: A Success or a Bandwagoner’s Event

Posted on 21 March 2012 by admin

Nayha Rizvi
Brampton

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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