Turn it Off Everyday - Inspired by the 4th Annual Earth Hour, 2010

Turn off the lights and join nearly 1 billion others in saving energy to raise awareness about energy consumption - during the fourth annual Earth Hour, March 27, 2010 at 8:30 pm - your time zone, wherever you are.
It's hard to imagine that something as easy as turning off your lights could have a real impact in combating climate change, but that’s the idea behind Earth Hour, a global event sponsored by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) designed to highlight the importance of energy conservation in the fight against global warming.

More than 1 billion participants on March 27 will help stage what has become a visually stunning event: People around the world, including whole cities and national monuments, will come together to make a bold statement about their concern for climate change by doing something quite simple—turning off their lights for one hour.

Participation is easy. By turning off the lights for an hour, starting at 8:30 p.m., on March 27, know that you are participating in a global movement that for that brief period of time, signals your commitment to combating climate change, even if it's just in your own home. If you missed Earth Hour, it's not too difficult to consciously integrate the concept into your daily life. Why not reduce the temperature in your house and put on a sweater instead? Make sure you turn off lights in rooms you're not using, and DEFINITELY unplug those unused appliances. Turning them off is not enough, especially for "transformers" - anything that has a large, black box on it, sometimes with a light. Those transformers suck about as much electricity when the appliances (computers, cell phones, etc.) they charge aren't in use as when they are. The amount of passive energy drain (or "standby loss") from unused plugged-in appliances and chargers is
astounding. For example, approximately 23% of the total electricity used by a TV is from standby loss.

A study conducted by the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy found that leaking electricity from normal household appliances estimated for normal use across homes in the United States could light 25,984,000 homes. In addition, to really hit the point home, passive energy loss from appliances in all homes across America is responsible for more than 6 million metric tons of U.S. carbon emissions. For more specific numbers on energy loss per appliance, see this chart.

From the WWF website: "Last year’s participants made some bold statements in support of the movement. In Peru, the population woke on the morning of March 28, 2009 to see the national El Comercio newspaper with an entirely black front page, and it wasn't because the ink had run. Instead, it was a way for the nation’s most prominent daily newspaper to issue a call to action on climate change for Earth Hour." (Although the amount of ink wasted to run entirely black front pages was not, apparently, considered).

For some dramatic pictures of Earth Hour, 2010:

Seattle Space Needle (an iPhone photo from my living room window):

See more pictures of Earth Hour 2010 via The Huffington Post.

To learn more about how to participate, get more information on the environmental impact of energy conservation, or to find out how you can support the WWF’s eco efforts, visit EarthHour.org


  1. I'm so sorry I missed this post back in March. The images are stunning. I know Seattle, and it is clear that much of the city, at least surrounding the Space Needle, participated. Heartwarming indeed. I hope you'll have time to post again. Your words are important to our global conversation.

  2. Thank you both! I really appreciate your comments, Kathryn. I took a bit of a hiatus, but your words are heartening and inspiring... I will continue writing! Thank you so much!!