Key points from the article -
- What are the various benefits of observing Earth hour
- What is global warming
- Why should you care about global warming?
- Steps you can take to help the environment
Earth hour is observed every year on 27th March. Organized by WWF or World Wide Fund For Nature is a global grassroots movement uniting people to take action on the various environmental issues and is dedicated towards protecting the planet. Earth hour was started as a lights out event in Sydney, Australia in the year 2007. Since then, it has grown to engage millions of supporters in more than 185 countries and territories, inspiring individuals and organizations worldwide to take action for the environment and driving major legislative changes by harnessing the power of the crowd. As the movement grows, the one-hour lights out event continues to be the symbol of a broader commitment towards conserving nature and our planet.
What are the various benefits of observing Earth Hour?
You may be wondering, how do you switch off your electricity at home for merely an hour one day to help the planet right? Every step no matter how big or small that’s taken towards the environment is a win in itself. When you look at it from the perspective of just your family, sure it may seem a bit small and maybe unnecessary, but if you broaden your horizons and think of it from a global perspective where millions like you and me conserve electricity just for an hour, it makes all the difference in the world. There are many benefits to observing Earth Hour, some of them are –
- Creates awareness –
Earth Hour is a movement that aimed at creating awareness. The hype about Earth Hour spreads the word about environmental issues. In the year 2015, 82 million earth hour videos were watched between January and March with about 7.8 million digital earth hour interactions taking place. This number has only increased in the years since the movement first began in 2007.
- Aims at protecting the environment –
The global loss of nature over the last century has been detrimental and in need of urgent global attention. Nature provides us with clean air, water, food and services worth trillions every year. Earth hour is important as it allows us to work towards achieving better resources from nature as well as envisioning what our lives would be like if we don’t fight for our planet.
- It is effective –
Every effort taken towards safeguarding the environment is an effort that counts. In 2013 during earth hour, Toronto recorded a stunning 205-megawatt reduction which is equivalent to 92,000 homes off the grid. The same was observed in Bangkok with a 1,699-megawatt reduction eliminating roughly 1,073 tons of carbon dioxide emissions.
- Brings about other measures towards protecting the environment –
As a direct result of earth hour, Uganda planted over half a million trees against 6,000 hectares of deforestation. In Argentina, 3.4 million hectares of the sea were protected.
- Bringing people together –
We are so dependent on technology and electricity that we simply can’t sit alone in the dark. Regardless of whether you live alone or with family and/or friends, earth hour is a great reminder that we need to come together to solve the climate change crisis.
What is global warming?
Human activities are estimated to have increased Earth’s global average temperature by about 1 degree Celsius, a number that is currently increasing by 0.2 degree Celsius per decade. Most of the current warming trend is extremely likely the result of human activities since the pre-industrial period 1950s and is proceeding at an unprecedented rate over decades to millennia.
Why should you care about global warming?
Global warming is a phenomenon that affects us all. Whatever we do with our time and how we use our resources, it will impact the future generations. Here are a few reasons why everyone should care about the harmful effects of global warming -
- Clear Water -
Did you know that 2 in every 3 people worldwide live in regions of severe drought and water scarcity? If there’s even a small increase in global temperatures it destabilizes the water cycle which could make the situation worse. Climate change also affects rainfall patterns meaning both droughts and flooding will be more common and much more intense.
- Future generations -
We are fortunate enough to live in a beautiful, diverse, nurturing and awe-inspiring planet. Our children and all future generations deserve the same opportunities.
- Clean Air -
Air pollution can lead to asthma, heart and lung diseases. With anthropogenic climate change that’s driven by man -made emissions to the atmosphere, we are the reason why we face compromised air quality.
- Rainforests are incredible -
Often referred to as the world’s lungs, rainforests are irreplaceable, unique and beautiful. The Amazonian rainforest is home to an astonishing 1 in 10 of all the known species in the world and it is threatened by climate change. Deforestation is a major cause for climate change generating an astonishing amount of greenhouse gases.
- Coral reefs are amazing -
Coral bleaching is caused by warm air and rising ocean temperatures. This causes the corals to lose their beautiful color and may also cause death. The CO2 that’s released in the atmosphere, compounds to the problem. Climate change is very bad news for anyone hoping to see the Great Barrier Reef one day.
Steps you can take to help the environment -
Observing Earth day for 1 hour a year isn’t enough. As parents it’s our duty to teach our children about climate change and the things that we can do to help. Here are a few steps that you can take to help reduce your carbon footprint and make the world a better place to live in -
- Reduce your waste -
Every product that we buy has an environmental footprint and could potentially end up in a landfill. The impact of plastic pollution on our oceans is becoming increasingly clear on marine life as we can see sea creatures choking on plastic. Opt for cloth bags instead of plastic bags, use 0 waste products instead of commercial products that come wrapped in plastic.
- Eating sustainably -
One major driver of wildlife extinction is food production! Around a quarter of global greenhouse gas emissions is caused by the food that we eat and is ultimately responsible for almost 60% of the global biodiversity loss! When we farm animals for meat and dairy products it requires a huge amount of space and inputs of water and feed. One major contributor of forest loss is the expansion of agricultural land for animal feed production such as soy. Producing meat also creates huge amounts of carbon dioxide which is much more than what is required for plants, vegetables, grains and legumes.
LED Bulbs require less power when compared to regular forms of lighting. It is estimated that standard LED bulbs can be upto 80% more energy efficient than conventional bulbs and waste far less energy than other styles of lighting.
By now it is obvious that we have to be the change that we want to see in the world and in the surroundings around us. If we aren't careful, we are doing an injustice to the world that we receive so much from. When we think of our futures we also think of where our children would be and we don’t want them to grow up in an environment where the world is quite literally burning. While Earth Hour is just a small step towards a massive climate change movement but it’s still a step forward and any step forward towards a collective benefit is still a win. By taking simple steps such as switching off our lights for an hour or using reusable water bottles, straws and toothbrushes, we aren't dumping our waste onto landfills that will eventually land up in the sea disturbing marine life.