September 21, 2020

 Mark

BY MARK FITZGERALD

Earth Hour has come and gone, and we have ever so slightly delayed the end of the world by turning off a few light bulbs. Rejoice!

Are we actually making an impact or is this just a way for us to think we have accomplished something? The World Wildlife Fund sure thinks we are making a difference.

They have spent many years promoting Earth Hour and how beneficial it is to our climate. They tell us that we are making a difference, but we aren’t because we just fall back into our old habits immediately after. It’s like telling an obese child he should go on a diet, rewarding him for eating an apple, and not saying anything when he toddles off to stick his face in some chocolate cake five minutes later.

They spend so much time and energy telling us to conserve our power for such a miniscule amount of time that it is pointless. They should be telling us to be more self aware about our energy use year-round. The primary message should be to turn off lights in unoccupied rooms. How hard is it to tell people that?

Be self conscious about the energy you waste. Some people like to leave the television on all day just to have some background noise in the house. Silence can be calming and it helps the planet. You should cherish all the moments of silence you can get while you can, because once you have kids, you can’t unplug them to turn off that background noise.

According to Global News, in 2012 British Columbia saved 121 megawatt hours of electricity during Earth Hour, which is equivalent to about 9 million 12.5-watt LED light bulbs. As impressive as this statistic sounds, it isn’t all that mind-blowing. These types of light bulbs use hardly any electricity. By measuring the amount of electricity saved using this wattage gives them a large number to show off how well Earth Hour works. If they used an appliance such as a refrigerator, which consumes a lot more electricity than an LED light bulb, then the stat would appear much less impressive. It’s all about appearing like we are making a difference.

Every single one of us is guilty of leaving the lights on or cranking up the air conditioner during a hot summer’s day. Maybe we should take it upon ourselves to save the planet and not wait for that one magical hour that happens once a year. Being proactive and self aware of your energy use year-round will have a more significant impact.

The views herein represent the position of the newspaper, not necessarily the author.