Lights out, Canadians!Did you know Canada outranks the United States in number of cities participating? Canada has 258 cities pledging to observe Earth Day this year by asking their citizens to turn out the lights for one hour - the United States has 187. Third-highest number of cities participating! Go Canada!
Impressive! This year, the lights will go out on the Sphinx, the Great Pyramids of Giza, the Empire State Building, Wembley Stadium, Ottawa's Peace Tower, the Coliseum, The Golden Gate Bridge, and many other monuments and landmark buildings. Even Niagara Falls will be suspending their light show for that time! Toronto Hydro is having a contest where people guess how much electricity demand will be lowered during that hour, with real-time updates.
All of this, of course, is to see what we can do as individuals to lower our casual power and resource consumption. The goal of Earth Hour (sign up here) is to cut electricity consumption by a measly five per cent for an hour. While admittedly that's not much in terms of real climate change (some estimates state we need to lower everyday consumption as much as eighty-five percent) it's a real, visible event where you can see your effort helping. Last year, more than 49 per cent of our nation chose to turn off their lights and other unnecessary power supplies. That's an incredible number of people concerned enough to flounder in the dark for an hour.
So what to do during an hour unplugged? I'm not so much the guitar and Kumbaya type. Luckily, there are events planned for everywhere - Halifax has a free outdoor concert in the park and Astronomy Nova Scotia will be mixing with the crowd, giving impromptu talks about star-gazing and setting up their telescopes so we can all peek at the heavens. Tim Horton's will even be providing hot drinks (although you need to bring a reusable mug!)
It sounds like a great time. Music and things to do and helping the world, all at the same time.
Maybe I am a Kumbaya-type girl after all.
This is an original Canada Moms Blog post. Jessica thinks about other stuff at daysgoby.
photo credit: The Shopping Sherpa