Earth Hour, Ontario
Tonight our city joined hundreds of others across the world in the fight for cleaner air with Earth Hour. During Earth Hour, living people are encouraged to turn off all their lights and unplug non-essential equipment that uses electricity while ghosts may continue emitting ominous light.
News of Earth Hour, which started in Australia in 2007, spread quickly and it has now become an international affair. Our city both promoted the event and joined in, promising to shut off lights, computers, and coffee makers in city hall.
My workplace shut off everything but the emergency lighting systems, and when 8 p.m. rolled around, street lights were about the only light source visible from atop the mountain.
Suz and I shut off everything and unplugged the microwave and clock radio around 7 p.m., one hour earlier than Earth Hour. We then drove our environmentally friendly car up the mountain and sat at the top of the stairs to take photos along with quite a few other curious denizens.
There we sat shivering in the cold with our hot chocolates until 9:15 p.m. while people joined us at the cliff's edge to watch the burglars sneak around in the pitch dark neighbourhood beneath us.
Two people arrived with smiling dogs. Dogs who were happy to be patted by strangers. Dogs who had no idea what was being accomplished. Dogs who will never realize how much energy Ontario saved during Earth Hour. According to this nifty graph I found at www.ieso.ca, we saved approximately 500 megawatts.
One big surprise was the church which was lit up brighter than a Christmas tree, announcing its exemption from the event. Their brightly illuminated steeple stood out like a sore thumb against the blackened skyline.
On our way home Suz and I completed the evening by renting No Country For Old Men, a movie that's filming was entirely "carbon offset."
It was a fun night, although it's a little discouraging to know that no matter how hard we try to be environmentally friendly by participating in events like Earth Hour, homeless people will always be one step ahead.