Save Whole Pennies (and the Planet) by Observing Earth Hour

The third annual Earth Hour takes place this Saturday, March 28th at 8:30 PM wherever you are. Earth Hour was started by the World Wildlife Federation in Sydney, Australia. About six months later, other large cities jumped on the bandwagon. Now they’ve joined together to observe Earth Hour on a single day around the world.

What Happens During Earth Hour

For that single hour on a Saturday night, participating cities turn off non-essential lights. Local businesses and residents are encouraged to turn off their lights and electronics, too. Actually, it might not be electronics, but I plan to turn off everything and not drive during that hour.

How You Can Observe the Hour

There are several ways to observe Earth Hour. Some might even save you a few pennies on your electric bill.

Turn off the lights and electricity at home.

Rather than going out, sit and read by candlelight. Or do other things that are often done in the dark. Hmmm – I wonder if anyone’s tracked an increase in the birth rate about nine months after Earth Hour.

Walk around your neighborhood to see the difference when there are fewer lights.

This will vary depending on how light-polluted your area is, but city-dwellers will probably notice a big difference. No neon signs, no flashing signs, no bright decorative lights at businesses and restaurants.

Visit a local restaurant participating in the event.

Restaurants across the globe have agreed to turn off the lights at the agreed upon hour. Going out to dinner won’t save money, but it would be fun to experience the camaraderie of the event. Go to the US Earth Hour site to find your location and then find local business that are participating. If you live outside the US, click the “location” button near the top of the main Earth Hour page to find a map of all participating countries.

Twitter or blog about your Earth Hour experience.

Tag posts as earthhour or voteearth. Tag Tweets #earthhour or #voteearth. You can also post photos on Flickr or videos on YouTube so the whole world can share your experience.

If everyone participated in Earth Hour, it would have a small impact on our climate. If everyone participated and then vowed to be considerate of energy use from now on, we could make a huge difference in our climate. As frugal people know, high energy use can get expensive. That will become even more so in the future. So, being mindful of your energy use is not only good for the planet, but it’s frugal, too.

Are you observing Earth Hour? What are you planning to do?

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