Saturday March 23rd, 2013 marked the 7th annual Earth Hour. Earth Hour is the single largest mass participation event in the world. Based on the hope that we can mobilize people to take action on climate change, Earth Hour now inspires millions of people in over 7000 cities and towns in over 150 countries to switch lights off for an hour and is a great first step towards reducing our environmental impact. This year, Hamilton residents turned out the lights and were able to reduce energy consumption by 4% and Horizon Utilities reported energy usage was down 21 MW during Earth Hour – enough power to run 913 homes for an entire day.
While some Hamilton residents participated in Earth Hour by turning lights out at home or local restaurants, Dundas in Transition and the Ecological Churches of West Hamilton (Ecowham) took celebrations a step further by holding the Earth Hour Resilience and Sustainability Night. During Earth Hour and throughout the night, over 70 local residents celebrated by examining ways to become a more resilient and sustainable community through movies, presentations, and great treats from sponsors Café Domestique and Picone Fine Foods. Those who came to this terrific event at St Paul’s United Church were even given a sneak peek at The Revolution Movie. This movie tries to uncover the secret to saving ecosystems we depend on for survival. From coral reefs to deforestation to tar sands, he reveals that all of our actions are interconnected and that environmental degradation, species loss, ocean acidification, pollution, and food/water scarcity are reducing the Earth’s ability to house humans. This great evening night ended after lights went out to celebrate Earth Hour at 8:00 PM and flashlights came on!
Although turning the lights out for an hour isn’t the solution to all of our environmental issues, we hope that you go beyond the hour and start making small and simple changes that reduce your energy consumption today and every day.
To find out more about the Climate Change Champions program and ways you can reduce your environmental impacts, visit the Climate Change Hamilton website.