Sunday, March 30, 2008

Earth Hour


Yesterday my sister asked if I was planning to participate in Earth Hour. Once I knew about it, I had to participate. Here is an excerpt from the site:

"Earth Hour 2008 was a remarkable global event, and in towns and cities across America people "turned out" to lend their voice to the worldwide call for action on climate change.

On March 29th, people everywhere turned off their lights–to make a statement, to help find new ways to reduce their impact on the environment, and to start a movement that ends with a solution to the common challenge we all face."


So at 8pm PST I turned off the computer, the printer, the television, the DVD player and all of the lights. I lit a couple of candles and sat, thinking about how I live and the impact it has on the planet. One of the first things I discovered was how many little green/orange/red indicator lights still burned, showing the electricity I was still sucking from the grid. A tour of my small abode uncovered 19 such lights. 7 were power strips. Also on was the wireless hub, the computer speakers, the backup drive, 2 clocks, 2 nightlights, the CO2 detector, the VCR, the cordless phone, and an odd light switch that glows. A look in the garage uncovered 3 more lights, all associated with the garage door opener. Why so many surge protectors? 1956 house. Why not shut off the wireless hub? It can take hours to get it connected again. I did manage to shut off 3 of the strips.

So, did that one hour make much of an impact on the health of the planet? Maybe not, but it did make an impact on my own outlook, and firmed up my resolve to pay more attention to the little ways I can help. Ultimately, both large and small efforts will be required to stabilize the planet and provide a decent standard of living for the future. One of my favorite quotes is a proverb (I once heard it is Ethiopian, but I am not sure): "When spiderwebs unite they can tie up a lion".

I am not promising huge things, but I will start by turning out the lights every once in a while.

4 comments:

Sharon said...

This whole thing missed me and I didn't know about it until I got to work this morning. I will pay more attention next year. I just counted 12 of those lights in the house and two in the garage. I never gave them a second thought.

Beryl said...

Igor and I did the hour without lights, TV, Computer -- the whole nine yards. He suggested we throw the circuit breaker, but then decided the clocks weren't sucking up that much juice. The dog was really restless because it disrupted his "on the couch watching TV time":-)

~~Sittin.n.Spinnin said...

I tried to post a comment the other day, but blogger was being fickle...
After reading I got to thinking about all the little lights that stay on in the house after we go to bed, its not a wonder our power bill is as high as it is. I wonder what affect it would have to turn off the meter durring summer nights...

Birdsong said...

I love that quote, and also how this event turned into your own personal power inventory... I do shut off the surge bar these days, but I know that there are little power guzzlers hidden away all over the landscape of my home and work lives.... food for thought. Nice photo!