Monday, April 07, 2008

Earth Hour - What a Crock!

Like any environmentally-conscious citizen, I was more than happy to join in for Earth Hour, which took place on March 29th, 2008 from 8 to 9pm. I think it's great to have initiatives like this, and kudos to all who made a genuine effort to participate. What I DID NOT like about Earth Hour is that it was turned into some big publicity stunt by municipal governments around the world, and by people who think it's cool to join a fad. Not cool at all.

Let's take the city of Toronto, for example. According to various news sources, the city's total power consumption dropped 8%. I'm really not too impressed by that figure.

First of all, unless you've got a damned good reason to keep your electricity running (nursing home, hospital, etc.), then shame on you for not participating.

Secondly, our wonderful mayor thought it would be cool to have an concert at Nathan Philips Square DURING Earth Hour. Well, I watched the concert footage on TV afterwards, and I was totally NOT impressed by the fact that the artists playing had (reduced) lighting and WORKING MICROPHONES!!! WTF? Maybe they live on a planet where amplifiers and microphones do not consume electricity. On my planet, however, they do. Shame on you, Nelly Furtado. What kind of ambassador are you???

Last, but not least, I'd like to comment on all of the drones who thought that by celebrating Earth Hour, they were saving the planet. Yes, part of the point of this whole thing was to promote awareness. Point taken. That being said, I think this event also attracted the same nimrods who think that planting a tree will justify gallivanting around the city in an SUV.

If you participated in Earth Hour and it changed the way you think about the planet, then good for you. I hope that this encourages you to live a greener lifestyle. There are so many little things you can do to live a greener life like:

1. Switch all bulbs in your house/apartment to compact fluorescent bulbs.
2. When buying new appliances, buy EnergyStar appliances.
3. Bring your own bags when going to the grocery store or when doing any type of shopping.
4. Walk to the supermarket if you can.
5. Take public transit to work if you can.
6. Recycle!
7. If you have a Green Bin, then compost as much as you can.
8. Install a thermostat to control the heating/cooling in your house.
9. Keep your house a few degrees cooler in the winter and use blankets to keep warm.
10. Don't turn on the A/C in the summer unless you really need to. There's nothing wrong with opening a window.
11. Switch to e-billing.
12. If you need to print something, print it on both sides of the paper.
13. Bring a re-usable coffee mug to your favorite coffee shop.
14. Bring your own lunch from home instead of buying every day - it's cheaper and wastes less packaging.
15. If you're bringing a lunch from home, use a re-usable lunchbag instead of a using a plastic bag or a paper bag.
16. Don't sit in an idling car.
17. Yet at people who sit in an idling car.
18. Plant a tree (just don't do it to make your guilt go away for abusing the planet).
19. Avoid taking plane trips - planes are one of the WORST polluters.
20. Turn your computer off when you're not using it. It won't kill you to have to boot it up every time you use it. If you're that hung up on boot time, then hibernate your computer.
21. Try to buy office stationary made of recycled paper.
22. By toilet paper, paper towels, and tissues made of recycled paper. If you're not into shopping at Grassroots or Whole Foods, then you can even find some of these products at your local Wal-Mart.
23. Use a silicone mat instead of parchment paper when baking.
24. Turn off your powerbars at home when you're not using them.
25. Turn off the lights in the rooms that you're not using.
26. Don't brush your teeth with the water running.

The list goes on and on...but notice how all these things are so SIMPLE to follow!

If you have any other green tips to add, please feel free to do so. I am always looking for ways to go green.

No comments: