|Earth Hour: A Great Excuse to Party in the Dark|
|Wednesday, 24 March 2010 00:00 | Written by Dawn Marshallsay | Blog Entry|
What would we do without light? Lots of things, actually. Electric lighting isn’t an option for the 75% of Africans who have no access to electricity, and the estimated 38 million people across the globe who are blind. If they can function permanently without electric illumination, surely we can cope for an hour. That’s the challenge issued by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) in inviting everyone to participate in its second annual Earth Hour—60 minutes without electric light. Turning off the lights saves energy and money, lowers the risk of global climate change and reduces air, water, land and light pollution. It’s also a great excuse to experiment with alternative lighting.
WWF Earth Hour
The first WWF Earth Hour, on 28 March 2009, saw landmarks such as the Eiffel Tower and Empire State Building switch off their lights for an hour, as nearly 4,000 cities and towns in 88 countries took part in the largest global action of its kind.
The WWF is calling for at least one billion people to turn off their lights this year. Websites can even black out their pages using the WWF’s Earth Hour ‘light switch’ widget. A pull-cord light switch graphic is displayed in the corner of the screen; once clicked, the webpage goes dark and a clock appears in the center, counting down to Earth Hour.
Alternative Lighting Activities
Even Times Square’s illuminated billboards could be going green in time for Earth Day. The Earth Day Network is campaigning for buildings in the Square to make their signage more energy efficient, as their number and energy rivals Las Vegas. As a piece of encouragement, Times Square unveiled its first wind- and solar-powered billboard on 4 December 2008. Passersby can support the campaign by texting “earth” to 23000.
Once you’ve survived a whole night without lights, the next power cut won’t seem so daunting. Instead, it’ll be an excuse to party, and the Earth will be partying with you.