Friday, February 27, 2009

Day 311 of our Green Year: Observing Earth Hour

Last year a really cool initiative came along called Earth Hour. It involved turning off your lights for just an hour. Created by WWF, it is meant to help raise awareness towards fighting climate change. Its first worldwide participation was in 2008.

This year, Earth Hour will take place on March 28, 2009 at 8:30 pm and Layla and I have decided to observe it as part of Our Green Year. Sure it is early to say we are observing it, but we figure we will throw our support behind it less than a month before it happens.

Last year, 36 million to 50 million people around the world participated in Earth Hour, which is pretty good for something that was being held worldwide for the first time. As for the energy saved, here are a few stats:

  • Bangkok decreased its energy use by 73.34 megawatts, which amounts to 41.6 tonnes of CO2
  • Toronto dropped its power usage by 8.7 percent and saved 900 megawatts.
  • Ireland reduced its energy use during that hour by 1.5 percent in the evening.
  • In Dubai, 100 megawatt hours of electricity was saved, which amounted to a 2.4 percent reduction during that time.
  • Christchurch, New Zealand had the best drop in electricity demand, dropping by 13 percent during that hour. New Zealand as a whole saved 335 megawatts.
  • Melbourne, Australia saved 10.1 percent, while Sydney saved 8.4 percent in power.
Sadly, the worst result on Earth came from our own backyard, Calgary. During Earth Hour, the power consumption of the city actually increased 3.6 percent.

So, here is to Earth Hour and hopefully it is even more successful in 2009!