The Mindful Merchant

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Earth Hour 2010 March 16, 2010

Filed under: Canada,climate change,environment,reduce energy,sustainable — MindfulMerchant @ 11:55 pm



Saturday March 27th marks the fourth annual Earth Hour.  The WWF (World Wide Fund for Nature) is asking residents and businesses to turn off non-essential lights and appliances for one hour 8:30 – 9:30pm local time.

Earth Hour began in Sydney, Australia in 2007, the idea of The Sydney Herald Newspaper and the WWF. 2.2 million residents and businesses participated by turning off non-essential lights.  It is a symbolic movement to raise climate awareness and inspire people around the world to play a part in a sustainable future.

Since then other cities and countries have joined the event…and the movement is growing. WWF-Canada says this year exceeds the number of countries participating from 88 officially last year to 105 and counting.  Here in Ottawa, the Parliament Buildings lights will go out (nah, too easy a joke) along with other famous Canadian landmarks.

In 2008, the Toronto Star Newspaper reported that the city of Toronto dropped 900 megawatts during Earth Hour. Apparently, this amount of electricity is enough to power about 434,450 homes. The following year was even more of a success with a 920 megawatt reduction and roughly 10 million Canadians took part in the event. Expectations are high for better numbers this year.

Here is a cool link for more information about Earth Hour celebrations in your part of the world…and a little video for  inspiration.




Last year my family participated in Earth Hour when thirty-five of us gathered to celebrate a big birthday. We kicked off the hour by turning off the lights to sing Happy Birthday and kept them off. We lit other candles and kept a close eye on them. The kids thought it was fun running around with flashlights and making “woooo” scary sounds. Unfortunately, it caused a raucous with the men when we tried to turn off the TV. Turns out Earth Hour coincided with some NHL hockey game…blah blah. A disturbing vote took place in which the TV that night became an “essential” appliance. Although we unplugged everything we could and turned off all the lights…the living room glowed by the light of the screen. It is not a great green story…but it is a positive start.

Earth Hour is more than turning lights off for an hour. The hope is that people will feel a part of a global movement, and make small energy saving changes going forward. How about you?  Are you going to be part of Earth Hour 2010?   I could use some fun ideas.





8 Responses to “Earth Hour 2010”

  1. Pauline Says:

    I will definitely be participating in Earth Hour! Its a great event!
    This year, I’m thinking wine and card games by candle light. I’ve always wanted to learn how to play poker and this could provide a good excuse. 🙂

    • A few people on Facebook suggested a games night too. That sounds fun…especially with wine! I think we’ll be doing something similar. Good luck with poker 🙂

  2. XUP Says:

    I’m game for anything that involves drinking wine. Board games seem like an obvious choice for a lights-out night. That, or just going to bed/sleep early…

  3. Lesley Says:

    We’re going to a neighbors — so we’ll be armed with our flash lights.

    And in honor of Earth Hour, I really put some effort into the food I will bring — can’t need refrigeration, or heating. So difficult.. o I’ve got it ..I’ll bring the old stand-by, Lay’s Salt & Vinegar chips !! (yeah — my default food for Earth Hour & Every Hour!).


    • Flashlights held under the chin with a scary noises is how my kids will spend the first few minutes of earth hour. Who am I kidding? I’ll be doing that too. Good point about thinking about heating any food…I had only considered the wine. 🙂

  4. Okay, we were 10 minutes late to the party this year because we got home late and still had to make dinner for ourselves and the kids. They however LOVED the whole eating by candlelight thing made even more special by being up past their normal bedtime. And you know, once you have candles lighting up the house, it seems so harsh to go back to electricity again. THey leave such a pleasant light.

    One thing that struck me is how the kids were not only willing participants, but active drivers of the event this year. I guess they hear it in school. ANd bonus to late night: they’re still in bed at 8am!

    Love the debate on whether the hockey game on TV constitutes an essential appliance. Only in Canada, eh?

    • Your Earth Hour celebrations sound wonderful Denise. It is encouraging to hear your children were so keen…ours were too. It will be interesting to see how many homes participated this year.

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