An International Event to Promote Energy Conservation
In late March each year, the Earth goes dark in honor of the annual worldwide Earth Hour. Countries all over the world will darken buildings landmarks and homes in an effort to conserve energy and provide a sense of unity in a world becoming more energy conscious and climate-aware. This event occurs just under four weeks before Earth Day on April 22nd – an entire day that is devoted to going green.
The First Earth Hour
The first Earth Hour took place in Sydney, Australia in March of 2007. More than two million locations in the city went dark for the event.The trend caught on and had the participation of 35 countries by the next year. It has since been adopted by multiple countries and cities all over the world. In 2010, 125 countries are expected to participate in Earth Hour including China, the U.S., Australia, France, Italy and many more.
In addition to countries, some U.S. states are officially supporting Earth Hour 2010 including Florida, Illinois, and Pennsylvania. After Earth Hour is completed, searches soar on search engines for “Earth Hour Satellite Images” and “Earth Hour Watts.” Pictures are plastered across blogs and news stations broadcasting the images of many famous landmarks and government buildings (including the Vatican) with their lights off. The images are used to encourage viewers and participants to pursue more energy-conservative lifestyles on a daily basis.
Famous Landmarks Turning Off Lights for Earth Hour
In addition to homes, governments, and businesses, many famous landmarks are turning off the lights for Earth Hour in a symbolic effort of unity and energy conservatism. Some of these famous landmarks include the Great Pyramids of Giza, the Eiffel Tower of Paris, the Forbidden City in Beijing, London Bridge, the Empire State Building and numerous hotels along the Las Vegas Strip.
How to Participate in Earth Hour
In order to participate in Earth Hour, one need only turn off their lights at 8:30 p.m. local time. The lights should be left off for a full 60 minutes. For a more dramatic effect, all appliances can be unplugged, water can be turned off and a person can elect to not eat meat for a day.
For those looking to make energy conservation a more permanent goal, dimmer switches can be easily installed to lower wattage consumption. Incandescent light bulbs can be switched with CFLs, public transportation can be used instead of cars, and appliances and windows can be upgraded to more energy efficient models.