Sunday, March 28, 2010

The Power Of Earth Hour

I found this via twitter, posted on behalf of my city.....

City Participating In Earth Hour – What About You?

It is Earth Hour on Saturday March 27 from 8:30 to 9:30 p.m.
Earth Hour is about taking simple steps everyday that collectively reduce carbon emissions – from businesses turning off their lights when offices are empty to households turning off appliances rather than leaving them on standby.
The City will be participating in Earth Hour by turning off the lights at City Hall, The Esplanade and the Library.
“Earth Hour is an excellent opportunity for the City to engage the community in a discussion around responsible energy use,” says Russ Smith, energy sustainability manager.
What will you be doing? Here are a few different ways to spend Earth Hour and reduce your carbon footprint:
  1. Gather family and friends for a night picnic in your local park and gaze at the stars. Try to identify some of the constellations in the night sky.
  2. Enjoy a family dinner by candlelight
  3. Organize a treasure hunt in the dark using wind up flashlights
  4. Take the dog for a late evening walk
  5. Enjoy a candle-lit soak in the bathtub
  6. Sit in the dark and share stories
  7. Organize a family night playing board games
To find out more about Earth Hour, visit the official website Sign up and join millions of people in more than 1,400 cities and towns in 80 countries by turning off your lights for one hour starting at 8:30 p.m. on Saturday, March 27.
So i had a couple of problems with this (more than a couple, but whatever LOL) ---- #5 says enjoy a soak in the bathtub by candlelight.... so do you have to fill your tub up before the clock strikes 8:30pm? Or do you have to take a cold bath? Last time I checked, electricity and gas are used to heat my water. Can't boil it on the stove cos that's electric too... maybe I should have grabbed an old wash basin and heated it over a fire in the backyard to go soak in there (except, I don't have a permit from the City to have a firepit so I'm not sure if that idea would be so great afterall).

and #2 says to enjoy a family dinner by candlelight..... usually people eat dinner (esp families) around 5 or 6pm. Maybe 7pm... but for Earth Hour you can cook all your food (or have it delivered) and use up the same amount of energy, delaying your children's meal til a later time instead and about the only difference in energy use is the lights and tv might be off. But - those things were most likely on at the normal dinner hour so come on, what difference does it REALLY make??

We teach our kids to turn the lights out 365 days a year, every time they leave a room they are to turn out the lights. If you're not in there, it should not be on, that's our motto. I taught my kids years ago not to throw a kleenex in the toilet and flush it down, just chuck it in the garbage can. We do that every day, all day. Is one hour a year going to magically make people aware of energy use? REALLY? Sounds to me like it's just some gimmick and the more it goes on, the more people I see bucking against it. I don't turn my outside lights on unless someone is coming over or coming home late,, but last night I did turn them on. I decided to do the opposite for Earth Hour. If people can turn their lights off in protest of 'climate change', I can turn my lights on in protest of 'climate change' too lol. Or I can completely ignore it and go about my business, that's what I did last year. But this year I made a concerted effort to turn on lights that I normally have OFF at that time of night. And I waited until 830 before filling my bathtub with toasty hot water. And added more after it got a bit chilly in there.... We did turn down our furnace and let in some fresh cool air by opening lots of windows, but then we had to crank the furnace up higher later. So really, what difference did it make? Yay some major buildings turned their lights out for awhile... well I'd like to see the grid graphs from when it all got turned back ON at the same time! Back to my bath - if I had my bath at 6 instead so I wouldn't have it during 'earth hour', what difference would it have made? Instead a bunch of people ran around to shops and liquor stores before earth hour and bought things they normally would not have bought, to serve at their little parties. Or they drove their cars over to a friend's house before 830 so they could have a little gathering - but would not have normally driven their cars to their friend's house if it hadn't been Earth Hour. So...... ummmm..... what? Yeah okay - conserve energy by buying things and doing things you might not have done if it wasn't for earth hour. Let's all drive to the Eiffel Tower and sit and watch the lights go out, and then drive home.....
An article in the Calgary Herald talked of trying to find ways to get people to understand and conserve energy in this symbolic Earth Hour. Well, I am almost 37 and I was taught as a young child not to leave lights on, to make sure I turn off the water when I am brushing my teeth, and if I just tinkled in the middle of the night, don't flush it - leave it til a couple more people have whizzed in there and then flush. Maybe a lot of that was also centered around saving money on our parent's utility bills, but I remember getting little booklets from Irvine School talking about the same energy conservation we talk about today -- I left that school in 1985 so that is 25 years ago (ugh I am getting long in the tooth lol).... But anyway, I was taught that and now I teach my kids that, and they will teach their kids that. Maybe they should market it to people about how much money they will save instead?? lol... i don't know but I'm tired of people acting all Smug when they participate in Earth Hour and then go back to doing what they always do the rest of the year. And I see far more city buildings fully lit than I see homes or even stores (many turn every other light off to reduce cost and comsumption). so.......... who needs to cut their power? Us or Them?


  1. I ignored it, but I have to admit sneaking one useless light on in the front room so it could be seen from the street.

  2. I ignored it too. We recently have had two utility companies come back asking for more money. Seems that after years of using taxpayer dollars to preach the benefits of conservation folks actually used less. You would think that would be a success for them right? Ummmm Not so much. Now it seems this has severely cut into their projected revenues and now they need to charge us MORE because usage fell below the required amount to cover their budget of costs. Damned if you do...damned if you don't.



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