Alexandra Pope, staff writer
Since 2007, Earth Hour has grown into a successful global movement, motivating millions of people to reduce their energy consumption. But experts say people can and should practice planet-friendly behaviour every day, not just once a year for 60 minutes.
Dr. Quentin Chiotti, a climate scientist with the Association for Canadian Educational Resources, says current climate data shows a “huge urgency” when it comes to reducing global greenhouse gas emissions.
“We need to bring them drastically down (and move to) a virtually carbon-free economy in the next 50 years ... to avoid a dangerous interaction with the global climate system.”
Annually observing Earth Hour by shutting off lights and powering down appliances for an hour is a good start, but Steven Price with the World Wildlife Fund-Canada says Earth Hour is just “New Year's Eve for environmentalists.”
“You should make a resolution: what can I do within my household through using less, through having more efficient appliances, driving less, biking more, walking more,“ Price says.
“You can lower your impact on the environment, save money, and probably be healthier too. I see it as a win-win-win, and that's the resolution everyone should make the day after Earth Hour.”
What can you do?
Angela Bischoff, outreach director for the Ontario Clean Air Alliance, says there are lots of small changes people can make to live cleaner and greener every day.
Even if you incorporate one of these tips into your daily routine, you'll be contributing to a significant reduction in the amount of energy used and wasted worldwide, Bischoff says.
“Doing something is better than doing nothing.”