For most people Earth Hour is an environmental awareness event in which people all over the world turn off their lights at 2030 hours wherever they are for an hour only. The idea is simple, it promotes awareness for the consumption and waste of our electricity as well as give rise to the idea of light pollution which most of us are unaware off and ignore.
Being somewhat of a conservationist, I’ve been following the movement since it started a couple of years ago. It’s just recently, I’ve come across some information that renders Earth Hour pointless to begin with. As a result, this year, I won’t be joining in on what has become a hype in turning off all electrical equipment for 60 minutes in respect of Earth hour. I will explain my reason and it all depends on your perspective whether it makes the same sense to you or not.
For everyone else to join in on Earth Hour, all they have to do is to turn off all electrical equipment, especially the lights off for an hour, thus showing that you can save the environment together right? Not exactly. You see, even if 100 million homes turn off everything remotely electrical in their homes, the power plants that power these homes are still running. Whether it may be clean renewable energy like hydroelelectric or the old coal power plants, that energy generated will be wasted for an hour, never stored, and never to come back.
People seem to have the idea that power plants too shut off the generators at the same time as every one else. Truthfully, if they did do dark for an hour, it would take another few hours to turn the generators up again from cold start. Earth Hour might as very well be Earth Hours. Seeing as well how places like hospitals need power 24/7 to keep people alive, it’s more a hassle that it’s worth to plunge the city into darkness by turning off the power stations.
Also, assuming that everyone around your neighborhood joins in on you too. To have people suddenly turn on their electrical goods at about the same time leaves the small chance of blowing an electrical substation sending the neighborhood to a prolonged darkness. True, it’s a small chance which would mean that everyone has to turn everything on at the exact moment which is impossible, but it’s a possibility nevertheless. I swear if my neighborhood blows a main fuse which needs several hours to repair that night, I’m going to be very cross indeed.
Next up, while I know people are going to either go out, use emergency battery torches or even make out in the dark (which was what I used to do), a lot of people are going to opt for the usual “burn-a-candle-for-light” method. Assuming 3/4 of all participants are going to burn candles, 3/4 of 100 million people burning 2-3 candles in their homes is still a huge number indeed. Remember, even if you say a candle burning is insignificant, it’s still the burning of fossil fuels releasing carbon dioxide into the air. You put this all together and you have a crapload being released into the air at the same time. This is of course in addition to whatever fossil fuel is being used to generate electricity in the power plants too. It’s not even efficient to boot, it actually makes things worse.
By now of course, a lot of you for Earth Hour would be saying I’m using a lot of assumptions here, which is true. In truth, Earth Hour is a social movement which is meant to educate people on the effect we have on the environment. It’s just that now, the media and a lot of people think that it’s things like this that help save the environment from ourselves, which is not true, but a perversion of the day itself and science in general.
It may very well be that we need events like this are meant to wake us up from being the wasteful destructive hogs we are to the planet. At the same time, what’s stopping each and every one of you from going back to the same wasteful habits after the hour is up? Sure it’s cool and all to shut off your lights with everyone else and plunge into darkness for the environment, but if you don’t follow through with it every day, does it make an iota of a difference? No.
If you’re really serious about saving the environment then at least follow through with it as some of us do. Turn off the lights in areas which you don’t need. Recycle your garbage, whether it be in a dedicated recycle pile or even reuse them in other ways around the house. Start switching your light bulbs and electrical goods to the energy saving kind. Use water when you really need it. Invest in a more self sufficient lifestyle. Don’t cook more than you can eat if you’re going to throw it away.
There are a lot of small little things you can do to save the environment just a little bit at a time. The idea is about being consistent. The idea is about sharing that consistency with the people in your life, friends and family and the like. If going social is the better way at it, then go social about the environment every day and show that it isn’t a pain in the ass to develop such a habit. Because at the end of the day, a single hour isn’t enough to show the world that what we’ve doing to it is really bad. We have to commit to it every hour, every day, for as long as we are here on God’s green Earth.
That’s what I’ve always been doing even though my lights are going to be alight on March 28th. The question is, with your lights off, are you going to go back to your ways? Or are you going to join me in saving this planet, ridding yourself of one wasteful habit at a time?