LIVE: Earth Hour 2013

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I’ve been titling my posts by which category they fall under (live, travel, eat, create). As this is my first LIVE post I realize the title appears to say “live” as in “happening right now” instead of “live” as in “to live”. Not a big deal, but I volunteer at ESL (English as a Second Language) classes and this is another example of how English is so darn confusing…onto the actual post:

I’d like to start out by saying I am NOT a crazy environmentalist and that there won’t be many posts about this topic. That said, I do believe we should do our part to not harm the environment.

Today is Earth Hour 2013. If you haven’t heard about Earth Hour, it’s a movement where people turn off the lights from 8:30-9:30pm no matter where they are.  It is to raise awareness and prompt people to take action against climate change.  While turning off your lights for an hour is a small step, it’s meant to get people thinking. If everyone in the world made a few small changes, it could make a huge difference.

Now, I’d like to say I do my part to help save the planet but the truth is, I don’t. I drive my car everyday to work by myself. I never remember to take my reusable bags to the store with me. Since I’ve moved to an apartment complex that doesn’t have recycling bins, I haven’t been recycling either.

Earth Hour has also added a new campaign in the last few years called “I will if you will” where people can share what they’re willing to give up and what the expect others to do in exchange. Currently on their website (earthhour.org), someone will give up meat for a week if 500 people pledge to eat one vegetarian meal a week until the end of the year, and another person will sleep without air conditioning if 1000 people actually throw garbage in the trash and reduce their use of plastic.

This got me to thinking about what I should be doing to do my part. So below, if you will, is my “I will if you will” but in a slightly different format. I’m not going to add the “if you will” part because there’s no way to know if anyone is actually doing it. Also, because I want to do my part and if no one else wants to join in, I’m going to do it anyway. I don’t want to tell anyone what they have to do, I just want you to think about it and decide if maybe there are small changes you can make in your life too.

In honor of Earth Hour and what it represents, I’m going to take it a step further and not only turn off my lights for an hour tonight, but pledge to do the following things for the entire month of April. I’ve been meaning to do some of these for awhile (like recycling), but always end up going for convenience instead…not anymore!

1) I will only use reusable bags.

2) I will take my recyclables to the local recycle station and will not throw them in the dumpster.

3) I will not eat meat for the month. As I’ve been considering going vegetarian anyway, this will be a good first step.

4) I will be less wasteful. I will eat all my leftovers and buy only the amount of food I need.

5) I will only have one light on at a time.

My hope is that by doing these things for a month, they will become habits even after April is over. These changes aren’t only for the good of the planet, but some should be better for my wallet as well and that’s always a plus!

Are you participating in Earth Hour? If you’ve decided to make some small changes to help the environment, sound off by leaving a comment!

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One thought on “LIVE: Earth Hour 2013

  1. I looked out at the skyline at 8:30 PM and it was as bright as in minutes prior. No one cares, I thought. And maybe that’s because this Earth Hour thing has gotten old; but here you were, preparing to make permanent — even inconvenient — changes because that hour got you thinking. So maybe I was wrong there are people who care, even if they are fewer or express it uniquely. 🙂 Good luck turning your list of 5 objectives into long-lasting habits. Number 4 on your list is one I learned of from the David Suzuki foundation’s web site earlier this year. I hadn’t thought about conserving food as part of an environmental agenda, but the financial savings just plain make sense, so I, too, try hard not to waste food. In addition to being conscious about electricity use, wise shopping, eating and cooking are doable. Tackling the easiest changes first, helps build the courage to tackle more demanding ones, I hope. Thanks for letting me sound off. :-)//mm

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