EARTH HOUR 2008
What is Earth Hour?
Originally started in Sydney in March 2007, Earth Hour is a movement to urge people to take action against climate change by turning off all electrical appliances, including lights, for an hour on 29th March in all schools and homes nationwide. Last year, 2.2 million Australians and 2,100 Sydney businesses turned off their electrical appliances that day, including major Sydney icons like the Harbour Bridge and Opera House, resulting in wide media coverage over the significance of the event in a bid to slow down global warming.
As a result, many other major global cities are joining Earth Hour in 2008, thus turning a symbolic event into a global movement. To reach out even more extensively to the general public—even that of different nationalities—a website, www.earthhour.org, has even been set up to offer more information about the event and how one can do his or her part.
Indeed, Earth Hour aims to rally people to take a stand against one of the greatest threat our planet is facing— drastic climate change as a dire consequence of global warming. As a global initiative, it emphasizes the point that taking a simple action can culminate into significant results, as Earth Hour mainly seeks to engage as many households, communities and businesses by simply appealing to turn off the lights and electrical devices for one hour on 29 March 2008 from 8pm to 9 pm. Locals in Singapore are slowly gaining awareness of this event. With the usually bright, cosmopolitan buzz of the city in darkness for that one hour, a very powerful message about the pressing need for action on global warming by reducing carbon emissions can be thus conveyed to the general public, hence raising awareness on the importance of environmental conservation as a whole.
Why Take Part in Earth Hour?
Environmental conservation, in our point of view, is paramount, simply because all living organisms – humans, plants and animals alike – will be adversely affected if we continue to exhaust Earth’s non-renewable resources. It starts at home – indeed, turning off all electrical appliances for an hour for just one day in an entire year may seem too simplistic and superficial to overcome the massive problem of global warming, but then again, how long more can one afford to stall if one doesn’t start now to do his or her part now?
The environment is fragile and susceptible to change, and increasing consumption in Earth’s resources has become an extremely pressing problem. In the case of electricity, non-renewable fuels such as coal and oil are burnt to generate the latter. However, their high carbon content causes a large amount of carbon dioxide to be emitted into the atmosphere. The rate at which such fuels are being burnt is thus resulting in a rise in the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, thus a main factor resulting in the greenhouse effect, and subsequently global warming and the adverse effects that comes with the latter, such as drastic climatic change.
One’s simple, albeit extremely meaningful act of completely turning off all her household electrical appliances for a mere hour, especially when done proactively as a communal effort, can go a long way against climate change. At the same time, Earth Hour reinforces the fact that we have to contribute collectively to protect the Earth as our home, instilling a sense of responsibility and duty in everyone that a little bit would go a long way. The most ideal message that we can put across to every Singaporean through this movement could perhaps be, “Have an Earth Hour Everyday! (HEHE)”
Electrical appliance - Watts used per hour
Stereo - 22
TV - 100
DVD player - 12
Computer Monitor - 70
Laptop - 29
Handphone phone charger - 5
The appliances listed above do not seem to use up too significant an amount of watts per hour when in use. However, when total household electrical usage of all households in Singapore is added together for just one hour, the number of watts used can amount to a significant sum. With that in mind, imagine what switching off all electrical appliances for just one hour can do to the environment if this is done on a national scale!
What Can We Do?
All staff and students can play their part by taking action today.
· Endorse Earth Hour by pledging to take part in Earth Hour.
· Switch off lights & other electrical appliances at home for one hour on 29 Mar from 8 – 9pm.
· Switch off all electrical appliances on 28 Mar before leaving the school. Leaving them on sleep mode would mean they still are continually consuming electricity.
· Invite your friends and relative to take part
· Convince your parents, friends and relatives to promote this event at their own homes, workplaces and schools
*Done by students in the Roots & Shoots LYFE group at Raffles Girls School .