I am so pleased to see this symbolic appreciation of the Earth. I will be eating dinner by candlelight during Earth Hour and even take some time to reflect on what I can add on to my green list. Toronto Star has listed many tips of how we can reduce our carbon emissions. Here is a list of some of the tips I liked:
Screen savers don’t save electricity. Instead, set your computer to go into sleep mode when you aren’t actively using it. That can cut your power consumption by five times, cutting your electricity bills by more than 500 kilowatt hours per year, according to The Carbon Buster’s Home Energy Handbook
Two large power plants have to run constantly to supply enough electricity to run North American television sets WHILE THEY ARE TURNED OFF. They’re called power vampires, as they suck energy to stay in a constant state of standby. Plug your television into a power bar and turn that off when you aren’t watching. That will save about 40 kilowatt hours over a year.
Wash your clothes in cold water. Since 80 per cent of the electricity in washing your clothes comes from heating the water, using cold rather than hot water will save you as much as 2,500 kilowatt-hours of power a year – more than twice the average household’s monthly energy bill. (Source: The Canadian Energy Efficiency Centre)
Hang your clothes up to dry. Even now, in winter. One load in the dryer uses enough energy to toast 250 pieces of bread, according to Change The World for Ten Bucks: 50 Ways To Make A Difference – a book put out by the “movement” We Are What We Do. (www.wearewhatwedo.ca)
This is action 13 from Change The World for Ten Bucks: 50 Ways To Make A Difference: “There are 9.3 million mobile phones replaced in Canada every year. That’s a heck of a lot of annoying ringtones and worse, it equate to around 1,000 tonnes of landfill (and a whole bunch of nasty chemicals).”
Instead of throwing your old broken down phone in the garbage, take it to a collection centre – where it will be either refurbished or recycled. There are many around Toronto – in high schools, community centres, even Pizza Pizza outlets. Find the nearest one to you at: www.pitch-in.ca/Pitch-In.php
Buy organic bananas. Even though the pesticides on regular bananas won’t make you sick, they’re heavy on the health of workers in Costa Rica, where many of our bananas come from. There, only 5 per cent of cultivated land is used for banana plantations, but they account for 35 per cent of the country’s pesticide imports.
Find many more tips on the Toronto Star website.
Here is more info on Earth Hour from the WWF website
Earth Hour is a global event created to symbolize that each one of us, working together, can make a positive impact on climate change – no matter who we are or where we live.Created by WWF in Sydney, Australia in 2007, Earth Hour has grown from a single event into a global movement. In 2008, millions of people, businesses, governments and civic organizations in nearly 200 cities around the globe will turn out for Earth Hour. More than 35 US cities will participate, including the US flagships–Atlanta, Chicago, Phoenix and San Francisco.
Earth Hour brings together communities, local governments, corporate and nongovernmental organizations to heighten awareness about climate change and to inspire our nation to take practical actions to reduce their own carbon footprints.
Earth Hour: March 29, 2008 8 – 9 PM
– Cities around the world will join together in literally turning off the lights for one hour to offer leadership and symbolize their commitment to finding climate change solutions.
– Lights will be turned off at iconic buildings and national landmarks from 8 p.m. to 9 p.m.
– Local businesses and restaurants will also be asked to turn off their lights.
– People at home can take advantage of the hour by replacing their standard light bulbs with energy-efficient compact fluorescent bulbs.
How will you be celebrating Earth Hour?