Author : Vijay C
Earth Hour is a movement which unites the people to conserve the environment.
It is organized by WWF ( not the wrestling championship, in case you thought) – the World Wildlife Fund for Nature which is the world’s largest conservation organization with over 5 million supporters ,serving in more than a hundred nations and supporting 1300+ environmental conservation projects as we speak.
Earth Hour began as a lights off event in Sydney, Australia in 2007 during which over 2.2 million individuals and 2,000+ businesses switched off their lights.
Since then it now operates in over 7000 cities and town worldwide to spread the message of environmental conservation.
The event took place tonight between 20:30-21:30 local time around the globe. But why turn off the lights?
We do it every single day. Well, this event is to turn off the unnecessary lights and appliances for an hour as a way of expressing your allegiance towards the conservation of the planet Earth or to be specific to conserve energy. Earth Hour is an initiative to encourage individuals, businesses and governments around the world to take accountability for their ecological footprint and engage in dialogue and resource exchange that provides real solutions to our environmental challenges. Participation in Earth Hour symbolizes a commitment to change beyond the hour.
Earth Hour is supported by a number of organizations ranging from the UN Environment Programme , UNESCO,ITUC, CBRE Group, Phillips, IKEA to UEFA ,FIFA ,National Hockey League and many more.
The standard Earth Hour ’60’ logo represents the 60 minutes of Earth Hour where we focus on the impact we are having on our planet and take positive action to address the environmental issues we face. For Earth Hour 2011 the ‘60+’ logo was introduced representing a commitment to add to Earth Hour a positive act for the planet that goes beyond the hour.
If we save electricity we can actually reduce our carbon footprint which will in turn help us in slowing down the effects of “GLOBAL WARMING” in the long term if we start acting now.
These are some of the ways we can actually save electricity which means reducing the carbon footprint and saving a little of your money being spent on your electricity bill every month:
1. We would have heard our teachers saying this ever since our third grade. Do not use light bulbs during the day when it is not necessary. Open your windows and curtains which allow sunlight which is of course free of cost.
If your area of living is polluted(now almost everywhere pollution is prevalent) and concerned about privacy you can keep your windows closed and buy lighter shades of curtains which will allow the sunlight.
2. Switch to LED bulbs if affordable which as of now is the most efficient of all bulbs and runs for years or switch to CFL bulbs which are comparatively cheaper than their LED counterparts and very efficient when compared to those hot and yellow light emitting incandescent bulbs. It will save you a lot of money.
3. Turn off unnecessary lights,fans, appliances, geysers, A/C( once the required temperature is reached and turn it back on when the cooling effect is decreasing),etc.
4. The people who live in places where the sun shines bright almost round the year they install and use a solar water heater instead of a geyser. In Bangalore the electricity board gives Rs.50 as a subsidy every month in their electricity bill for installing it in one’s place.
5. Again if affordable replace the old inefficient appliances with newer and highly efficient ones.
6. Use windows with sun films so that it blocks the maximum amount of heat and sunlight entering your room. And if an A/C is installed the room may cool faster than before.
7. Use your washing machine with full load and or almost full load.
8. A roof top garden or terrace farming will help in keeping your roof cool.
9. Don’t iron wet clothes. Don’t put too much of water while ironing. Use an iron box with automatic temperature cutoff.
10. Make sure there is enough gap between the wall and the refrigerator. Don’t overload the refrigerator. Defrost it once in a while. Wrap all the foods you store inside it because if it is stored open the food items release moisture which makes the compressor work harder and longer. Make sure the doors are air tight.
11. Use medium flame when cooking in gas stoves. Blue flames indicates the stove is operating efficiently but if it burns yellowish it means you need to clean your burners.
12. You can buy an inverter which recharges with solar energy that is using solar panels. It will certainly save you a lot of money.
13. You can also call up an architect or engineer or interior designer to insulate your home so that the heat doesn’t escape out of your home during winter and or keeps the home fairly cool during summer.
14. We can also install solar panels in our rooftops to generate our own electricity. If possible we can even sell the surplus electricity generated to the electricity boards.
If we all follow the above mentioned measures and many others we can definitely save a lot of electricity and make a huge impact in reducing the global carbon footprint and also ensuring a cleaner environment for us all to live in.