Last year, when Earth Hour came rolling around, I was criticized for supporting the cause/initiative/date/event. Here’s why:
- Even if every person in the entire world turned off all residential lighting, it would be the same as China stopping its CO2 emissions for less than four minutes
- Earth hour causes emissions to increase because any significant reduction in electricity demand will result in a surge from firing up coal or gas stations to re-establish electricity supplies later
- Using one candle for light cancels out any CO2 reduction you saved from turning out the lights and using two candles means that you effectively emit more CO2 due to the fact that candles are 100 times less efficient than incandescent light bulbs
- Electricity has reduced indoor air pollution from stoves and electricity has created a vast amount of benefits by mechanizing the world
But alas after hearing these great arguments I am still on the Earth Hour bandwagon.
Earth Hour is not about cutting a significant amount of energy through encouraging people and companies to turn off their lights for an hour. No, it is an awareness campaign. The World Wildlife Fund even shows right on their Earth Hour website page by not keeping track of how much energy is saved. I have been reminded a couple of times by my Marketing Professor that an event is not necessarily a waste of time because it loses money, but rather if it raises significant awareness for your cause, then it can be priceless.
Awareness campaigns can often seem like a complete waste by making you spend time and money on telling people about or convincing people to support your cause, instead of actually doing a concrete something. Earth Hour is a great example of this as its value is in making people aware of earth’s environmental crisis. Earth Hour aims to unite people to protect the planet by asking them to commit to reducing their environmental impact by doing something that isn’t overwhelming: turning off a light. Small steps can lead to big change.
Now that we are all aware, we have another 8759 hours left to, little by little, reduce our environmental impact. HERE are nine way to reduce your impact.
As always: comments, questions, concerns or even random thoughts? I would love if you shared them with me so please comment below!