Content by: Earth Hour – www.earthhour.org
Posted by: Eco-Question Editor
Source: Earth Hour – www.earthhour.org
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Earth Hour is driven by the global community’s will to protect the planet we share.
Earth Hour’s exponential growth – from a single-city initiative in 2007 to a global movement across 128 countries in 2010 – is indicative of the growing desire for a cleaner, healthier world that is gathering momentum by the hour.
Across the globe plans are underway to make Earth Hour 2011 even bigger still!
At 8.30pm on Saturday 26 March 2011, Earth Hour will mark a moment of global contemplation to go beyond the hour; a collective commitment by individuals throughout the world to be the ongoing change they want to see in it.
Earth Hour 2011 will mark a moment of global celebration where people of different races and religions, cultures and nations, politics and society, genders and generations transcend division, connected and enlightened by their role as custodians of the planet.
Earth Hour is a vehicle driven by the voices of hundreds of millions of people. It is your unique and powerful voice, how you choose to express it is entirely up to you. Earth Hour is your campaign, so don’t be afraid to own and put your stamp on it. Your voice has never been more influential. In this digital age, your voice is universal.
Be a part of Earth Hour 2011; add your voice and take action, encourage others to join the hundreds of millions across every continent who have already spoken as one on behalf of the planet.
Earth Hour 2011 will ask the world to:
Switch off your lights for Earth Hour at 8.30pm, Saturday 26 March 2011 and celebrate your commitment to the planet with the people of the world
Sign up and Share stories of your actions that benefit the planet on earthhour.org
Sustain your actions beyond the hour – www.beyondthehour.org
At the centre of the Earth Hour is the symbolic collective action of lights out on March 26.
Yet Earth Hour is about much more than just switching off the lights. It’s about switching to a more sustainable lifestyle. Being mindful, using less, making everyday choices to reduce our environmental footprint.
Here are some of our tips for going beyond hour at home, in the office and in between. Big or small, through all our efforts combined, these changes will help make a difference.
Turn off lights and appliances at the wall when not in use
This is an easy way to reduce wasted energy and carbon. If you switch off just one appliance at the wall you could save 45 kilogrammes of greenhouse gas.
Switch to energy-efficient light globes
Compact fluorescent light globes (CFLs) use less electricity and will last a lot longer, saving you money and time in the long run, and reducing landfill as fewer globes are chucked away.
Switch to Green Power
Green Power is government accredited clean, renewable electricity from the sun, the wind, water and waste. All you need to do is contact your electricity supplier and ask about their Green Power options.
Install solar panels and a solar hot water system
Free electricity from the sun! Capture the sun’s energy, lower your bills and increase the value of your home by investing in solar power.
Watch your water use
Australian conditions mean water is especially precious, and we can’t take it for granted. Take shorter showers, install water saving shower-heads and dual-flush toilets, repair dripping taps – all these things add up!
Walk or cycle more
Save money on petrol, and avoid the hassle of waiting in traffic and looking for a parking space. Walking and cycling is also free, fun and good exercise.
Take public transport when you can
Buses and trains ease congestion, reduce emissions, and allow you to relax, read or nap during that commute instead of fighting and stressing and feeling the road rage.
Double the efficiency of your car by putting another person in it. If you take turns at driving you’ll spend more time relaxing as a passenger and less time in the driver’s seat.
Avoid flying when possible
Air travel contributes significantly to your mobility footprint. Skipping a long-haul flight can be one of the most effective ways to cut your carbon footprint! When you do fly, neutralise your footprint by offsetting your emissions.
Check the fuel efficiency of your next car
In this way you can achieve up to a 70% reduction in transport emissions as well as save money on petrol. The most fuel efficient vehicles, and kindest to the environment, are hybrid-fuel cars
Take a reusable cloth bag when you go shopping
Did you know that Australians use 6.9 billion plastic bags every year? In addition to being manufactured from non-renewable fossil fuels, plastic bags degrade extremely slowly.
Steer clear of heavily or unnecessarily packaged goods
All this excess plastic and paper just ends up straight in the bin. Choose products in minimal, refillable or reusable containers where you can. And for the remainder, reduce, reuse, recycle!
Buy local, seasonal produce
Think about how far the food you buy has travelled before it reaches your table. Food produced locally costs less to process and transport, and it’s fresher and better for you.
Cut down on meat
Did you know that hundreds of litres of water are needed to produce one kilogram of beef? Try to eat a little bit less meat by making one extra vegetarian meal each week.
Choose Fair Trade
It’s a powerful way to contribute to environmentally sustainable social and economic development. Fairtrade helps workers and farmers to earn a decent living and rewards and encourages farming and production practices that are environmentally sustainable.
Most of all, avoid buying things you don’t need…
Ask yourself, do you really need/want it?
Native plants require less water, care and maintenance. Plus, you will be creating the ideal conditions to attract native species to your backyard or balcony by creating a habitat for them.
Start a compost
Almost 75 per cent of household waste is compostable. Composting not only saves landfill space, but recycles material and saves money on fertilisers. Add worms to speed up the process.
Grown your own fruit and vegetables
Reduce your footprint with a veggie-garden. Fresh veggies are good for you and for the earth. No packaging and no food miles!
Install a rainwater tank
Secure your own water supply and collect water for use in the garden or washing machine. And rainwater is free, so that means a reduction in bills too.
Think before you print
Are you a habitual document-printer? Paper is too valuable to waste! Around the world we use 1 million tonnes of paper every day. Too much of this paper usage is wasteful and unnecessary and puts huge pressures on the environment.
“Save as WWF” and save a tree
Sometimes pushing the print button is just too easy. Now, WWF has just released a PDF format that is not able to be printed. Download the free software here.
Recycle the paper you have and ask for recycled paper products. Collect the paper you use and then reuse where possible (print again on the other side, or make a scratch pad out of it).
Ditch the take-away coffee cups
Avoid unnecessary waste and take your own reusable mug with you. Through this simple daily action, you will reduce landfill and save money as many friendly cafes are willing to offer a discount.
Set your computer to sleep after 10 minutes of inactivity and make it a habit to turn off computers, laptops and printers when you leave the office at the end of the day. Easy.
About Earth Hour
Earth Hour started in 2007 in Sydney, Australia when 2.2 million individuals and more than 2,000 businesses turned their lights off for one hour to take a stand against climate change. Only a year later and Earth Hour had become a global sustainability movement with more than 50 million people across 35 countries participating. Global landmarks such as the Sydney Harbour Bridge, CN Tower in Toronto, Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, and Rome’s Colosseum, all stood in darkness, as symbols of hope for a cause that grows more urgent by the hour.
Earth Hour is organized by WWF. With almost 5 million supporters and a global network in over 100 countries, it’s one of the world’s largest and most respected independent conservation organizations. WWF’s mission is to stop the degradation of the Earth’s natural environment and build a future where people live in harmony with nature.
See more Earth Hour topics:
Earth Hour Global Social Media Profiles