Guest Author - Tricia Krietzberg
“Earth Hour 2009” is a unique opportunity for people from all parts of the world, all ages and political and religious points of view, to participate in an election for something that matters to all of us: our planet, our home. Earth Hour, now in its third year, will take place Saturday, March 28, at 8:30 p.m. when more than 1,000 cities in 80 countries will shut off the lights to historic landmarks, businesses, and homes for one entire hour.
Imagine the Golden Gate Bridge in total darkness? How about the Great Pyramids of Giza in Egypt? The Acropolis in Athens? The Eiffel Tower in Paris, the Opera House in Sydney, Australia, and the MGM Grand Casino in Las Vegas are all planning to participate in Earth Hour by going dark this Saturday. Events are being planned at all of these locations and more where citizens can join together to witness this historic event.
So, why are we all shutting the lights off? According to the World Wildlife Federation, the creators and organizers of Earth Hour, “Switching off your lights is a vote for the Earth. Leaving them on is a vote for global warming.”
Earth Hour began two years ago when just over 2 million homes and businesses in Australia went dark to show their support of the Earth. Last year’s event went global, and included 50 million “Earth” votes from countries all over the world.
This year, the 1 billion “Earth” votes that WWF is hoping to collect will be proof that the world wants to support the Earth. These votes will be presented to world leaders at the Global Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen in 2009. It is at this urgent meeting that decisions affecting the future of our Earth will be made. Those voting for Earth want to be sure those decisions are the right ones.
Seems like a pretty good idea – turn your lights off for one hour and you’ll be joining citizens worldwide in making a statement about the need to protect our planet. Go to “Earth Hour 2009” now, and register your vote for the Earth.
But, don’t forget that you can continue to make a difference once the lights go back on. For starters, you can turn the lights off whenever you don’t need them, and appliances too for that matter. Turn off your energy-hogging PC every night and you’ll not only give the Earth a reason to breathe easier, you’re electric bill will go down too. Here are some other ways you can reduce your carbon footprint at home:
• Recycle everything you can, all the time.
• Turn things off when you don’t need them on.
• Switch to solar or renewable energy.
• Have an energy audit and correct any problems.
• Use latex paint instead of oil-based paint.
• Take short showers and fix dripping faucets
• Run the washer only when the load is full.
• Always buy the most energy-efficient appliance you can afford.
• Change the old light bulbs for the new, more efficient ones.
• Turn the heat down just one degree.
For more suggestions how your home, business, or group can make a difference to Mother Earth, check out these suggestions from the World Wildlife Federation
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