Thursday, March 27, 2008

An hour of darkness

Here's an interesting activity to help spread the word on energy use reduction. At locations around the world, Earth Hour is holding a 1-hour voluntary blackout event to reduce the load on the grid. In the US, the next event is this Saturday, March 29, 2008 at 8 p.m. local time wherever you are. They suggest that you do it solo, or invite friends and family to join the vigil. More than 100 cities across North America will participate, including the US flagships–Atlanta, Chicago, Phoenix and San Francisco and Ottawa, Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver.

Originally created by the WWF in Australia in 2007, it has grown quickly into events all around the world.

IMO, this is a good exercise for several reasons:
  1. Trying to turn off all power usage at home or at work is an exercise in awareness. It may surprise us how many appliances, outlets we take for granted. Turning then off in one exercise shows the aggregate effect.
  2. Having a community turn-off event like this can help demonstrate how much power we typically use during that hour. Each household's usage may not seem like a lot, but it all adds up. It is a great community awareness tool, and again, shows the aggregated impact of concerted efforts.
If you are not free at that time, you can just pick an hour when you are, and try going through this exercise. Might be a fun thing to do with the family (at home), with colleagues (at work), or with a group of kids (at school).

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