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.
Earth Hour is now an annual global event hosted by the World Wildlife Fund. Since inception, the event has rapidly gained momentum. Earth Hour 2010 was the biggest Earth Hour ever reaching 1.3 billion people. On March 27, 2010, a record 128 countries and territories united across the globe making it the largest voluntary action ever witnessed. Iconic buildings and landmarks from the Asian Pacific to Europe and Africa to the Americas switched off. Over 10 million of Canadians took part in all provinces and territories, turning out the lights in over 300 cities and towns.
Can an hour of dousing the lights really make a difference? According to BC Hydro, During Earth Hour of 2010, British Columbians saved 64.6 megawatt hours of electricity – the equivalent of turning off about 1.4 million lights. Ontario saw a four per cent drop in electricity demand during Earth Hour 2010, enough to power a city the size of Brampton.
The event is not merely about saving power for a single hour. It is an awareness campaign to show just how much of an impact a small change can make. On Saturday March 26, from 8:30 to 9:30 pm, join in by simply powering down. You could make it fun by having a romantic candlelight dinner, dusting off the board games for a family night or find an Earth Hour event in your community. You may find yourself energized by being unplugged!