Saturday, March 28, 2009

Earth Hour 2009

Saturday, March 28th from 8:30pm until 9:30 is the hour that we all turn our lights, our computers and our televisions off for (at least) one hour.

Earth Hour is both a symbolic act and the start of a practical habit, at least I hope it becomes a practical habit. Take it from me, someone who loves the dark and usually has most lights turned off, it can be a great experience.

Lighting accounts for about 11 percent of a typical American home's energy bills, while computers and electronics add another 9 percent. So by shutting off these things when we're not using them, we can lower our load significantly.

Turn your outside lights off also! I love looking at the night sky and find it almost impossible to find a truly dark spot to look for satellites, meteors and just the beauty of all the stars. Try getting timers or motion sensors so that the lights only come on when you need them. I recently bought some solar lamps to light the walkway to my deck. We need to use the sun more than we do.

Some famous buildings will be going dark on Saturday including: The Empire State Building in New York City, the Eiffel Tower in Paris, the St. Louis Gateway Arch, the Sydney Opera House, the Sears Tower in Chicago, Seattle's Space Needle, the Great Pyramids and Sphinx in Egypt, the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, and Broadway theater marquees in New York City.

Even the flashy Las Vegas Strip will turn dark for an hour.

So turn off the lights - have a candlelight dinner or just sit and enjoy the darkness and turn off all those LED lights from TVs, radios, phone chargers, clocks, and everything else that glows.

Think of it as a retreat, a time to be quiet and peaceful. And you'll also save some money on your electric bill.

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