Vincent Cheung

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Monday, March 31, 2008

Earth Hour

Makeshift candle using the lid of a jar and about a dozen birthday candles

Makeshift candle engulfed in flame

Downtown Toronto on Feb. 20, 2008 during the lunar eclipse

Downtown Toronto during Earth Hour

A disappointing showing by Robarts and Grad House during Earth Hour

I think the whole Earth Hour idea (where you turn off your lights and appliances at 8pm for an hour on March 29, 2008) was a bit of a gimmicky, silly idea. Sure, electricity demand dropped by 8% for a brief period during that one hour, but that doesn't make any difference. Congratulations Toronto on reducing your power consumption by 0.0009% for the entire year by turning off some lights for an hour on one day!

As for raising awareness, people that were environmentally conscious before Earth Hour, will continue to do the small things to reduce consumption, while people that weren't, won't change their habits. My roommate continues to leave unnecessary lights on despite sitting in the dark for an hour on Saturday.

I did however, participate, because, why the hell not. Blackouts are fun! I was rather disappointed by the participation levels as there were still many lights on outside. The big thing, comparing my pics of the Toronto skyline from the lunar eclipse and Earth Hour, was that the big office towers turned off their signs and they had fewer lights on. Other than that, there wasn't much difference. In fact, it's quite a bit darker out right now (2:30am) than it was during Earth Hour, though the Bank logos are disrupting the darkness.

Here's what I did during Earth Hour:
  • Used my Forever Flashlight.

  • Realized that I didn't have any candles.

  • Created a makeshift candle using a lid of a pasta sauce jar and about a dozen birthday candles.

  • Thought about what to do if my table caught on fire from my makeshift candle that erupted into a massive flame.

  • Put away my laundry.

  • Put away my Christmas tree.

  • Gave up on the idea of stargazing b/c the sky wasn't fully dark and there were so many lights on.

  • Stood on my balcony and took photos.

  • Turned on the kitchen fan after I turned on the lights because my apartment was really smokey.


Talie in Seattle said...

I wonder if you are carbon neutral for the hour with the candle burning versus the clean hydro lit up lights off for the hour. Dirty dirty candle.

Natalie - in Melbourne where it was totally bright out middle of the day during that hour.

Anonymous said...


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