I love starting with an idea and seeing where it takes you. Recently I learned that’s what Earth day is all about.
Earth hour report card
This morning, on the Boxing Day of Earth Hour, I checked in to see how we stacked up compared to previous years.
When I Google-ed “Earth Hour Toronto” some grim facts about this 6th annual event popped up. I found out the city saw only a 6.8 % drop in power use throughout the hour, compared with the same time frame on any other Saturday Night.
- Is an improvement over the 5 % reduction last year
- Falls short of the 10 % drop in 2010
- Is less than half of the 15 % reduction in 2009
We can do better!
I’m surprised! I thought we could do better.
A quick search brought me to a sentence that sums up my thoughts from the Ontario Ministry of Infrastructure:
Ontario has invested in a variety of other sectors in the Greater Golden Horseshoe, including education.
How can such an educated audience forget to turn out the lights? What is contributing to this drop over the past few years? Feeling disappointed, I looked at a few different sites and found some statistics that makes the future seem a little more bright.
Some more promising Earth Hour reports
More than 5,200 cities and towns in 135 countries and territories worldwide switched off their lights for Earth Hour 2011 making it the largest climate campaign ever!
And the Toronto Star updates these figures for 2012:
Toronto was one of 6,494 cities in 150 countries — 511 in Canada alone — flicking off the lights along with millions worldwide
Who Is ANDREW HUANG?
Then my eye caught the caption: “Earth Hour anthem sends strong message.” So I clicked on the link and found that over 900 people submitted lyrics for a Canadian Earth Hour Song that Andrew Huang was commissioned, by WWF Canada, to write. How? By cutting and pasting the submitted lyrics together and putting them to music.
“Who is this guy?” I thought, typing in “Andrew Huang ” and hitting the search button.
Immediately I came to a short bio about a very original SOMEBODY.
Andrew Huang is using his interests and abilities to help the environment. Essentially he’s doing something he loves to do, to help something he loves. He’s impacting the world in a personally meaningful way.
Andrew is a Toronto-based new media artist whose work is a combination of his passion for music, video and audience engagement.
At the tap of my finger tips I found myself on Andrew’s Homepage stating “Andrew makes songs based on your ideas.”
One thing lead to another and then another.
Kind of like last night.
Earth Hour turned into Earth Evening
We went to our friends house for dinner; they’re people who were GREEN way before there was a blue bin. At 8:30 we simultaneously lit candles while turning off the lights. We used a BBQ instead of an oven. We switched off the tv.
No big sacrifice. No big deal.
9:30 came and went and so did 10:30. Hour by hour passed as the candles continued to light up our conversation. Then we played ping pong, using a cool portable set that has weighted posts and a retractable net to fit any kitchen table. The whole set packs into a 7″ X 7″ X 6″ pouch and is easy to play by candlelight.
Perfect Ping Pong for green-city-living.
No batteries or electricity needed.
Here’s a link to how you can get your very own PPPPGS(!): Pongo Portable Ping Pong Game Set. It also makes a great green gift.
Maybe Earth Hour is about more than statistics?
Looking back on the Earth Hour stats, maybe it’s more green and less grim than I thought. Maybe Earth Hour is more about the awareness it creates; the baby step effect of one green act leading to another and the applications we can make to our every day lives.
For starters, I’m going to get a PPPPGS. Then the next time we have friends over we’ll turn our kitchen table into a ping pong table. I’ll switch off all the lights and strike a match with my opponent and another to light a few candles. And it won’t be next March. It will be as soon as my set arrives. Why? Everyday is Earth Day!
Andrew Huang’s Earth Day Anthem
What did you do for Earth Day? Is it something you can repeat today, tomorrow or next week?!
Change starts with kids.