“What a difference a day makes….” For some reason, every time I think of Earth Hour, these words of the Dinah Washington song of the same name come to mind. You’re probably asking yourself how I could possibly confuse an hour with a day. I’m not confused.
It’s just that whenever I hear about this event — happening this year on Friday March 31, 2012, from 8:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. (local time) — I always wish it could last longer than an hour. Out of a year composed of 365 days, 52 weeks and 8 765 hours, a single hour just doesn’t seem like enough time to accomplish much, let alone save the planet!
But I still believe in the value of Earth Hour. It’s a symbolic gesture, of course. For that hour, we can mark the occasion by remembering to turn off our monitors, making a concerted effort to shut off the lights as we leave a room, unplugging device chargers, etc.
Surely though, we can all do a little better than that. For me, respecting the environment is a daily challenge I give myself. I remember to recycle every last bit of reusable material even though it means extra washing and sorting. I use a recyclable mug instead of taking a paper one every time I buy a beverage. I choose eco-friendly, biodegradable cleaning products whenever possible even though they might sometimes be a bit more expensive. I take my batteries to a special recycling bin even though it might be easier to toss them in with the rest of the household waste. I don’t let my car idle for more than a minute even though the temperature outside might be extreme. And the list goes on.
For this Earth Hour, the challenge I pose to myself and to everyone else is to try to go the extra mile, be conscious of the environment and make one new environmental resolution that will make a change for the better.
So, what will you do to make a difference?
- Julia Morris-von Luczenbacher, Writer, Corporate Communications, CBC/Radio-Canada