Are You Ready for Earth Hour?


Tomorrow – Saturday, March 29, 2014 – lights will go out across the globe from 8:30 to 9:30 p.m., local time. It’s just over 17 hours away in New Zealand.

Earth Hour 2014.
Earth Hour 2014.

Earth Hour is about much more than “lights out.” It is a global movement that aims to create an inter-connected global community that will create opportunities to create a sustainable world (and face the challenges, too!) This year Spiderman has just zoomed in as Special Ambassador for Earth Hour.

How did Earth Hour get started? It started with one city – the beautiful city of Sydney. Then Communications Director with World Wildlife Fund (WWF) Australia Andy Ridley convened a think tank in 2004 to discuss one simple action that would turn the spotlight on climate change. On March 31, 2007, over two million households and 2,000 businesses in Sydney turned their lights out for the inaugural Earth Hour. Since then, Earth Hour has steadily gathered momentum. It has garnered the backing of tens of thousands of businesses, including Google, Blackberry, HSBC, IKEA, Nickelodeon, PwC and many other multinationals. Earth Hour has also attracted support from governments at all levels and high profile global ambassadors including UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon and Archbishop Desmond Tutu. If you look at the Earth Hour website you will see how many countries are involved this year (roughly 150!). Earth Hour Global is now headquartered in Singapore. The movement also serves as a platform for a number of climate change-related projects globally, some of them crowd-funded.

Check in with F1rst during Earth Hour in the Caribbean...
Check in with F1rst during Earth Hour in the Caribbean…

Several Caribbean countries are getting involved in Earth Hour. And the plan is to make this a regional, coordinated effort in coming years. Under the theme “Earth Hour Blue,” Caribbean people, organizations and businesses across the region will be raising awareness of our changing climate. We are small islands, but we can do something to keep the balance. The focus will be on living sustainably, acting responsibly and eating locally.

In Jamaica there will be a free acoustic concert at the Ranny Williams Centre in Kingston from 6:00 to 10:30 p.m., featuring Rootz Underground and many other local performers. A number of local businesses, including telecoms firm Columbus Communications (Flow) have come on board. “Our partnership for the Earth Hour concert enables us to demonstrate our commitment to action on climate change via initiatives to minimize our negative impact on the environment,” says Flow’s Corporate Communications Director Gail Abrahams.

Stephen Newland with teachers at the Little London Primary School in Westmoreland.
Stephen Newland with teachers at the Little London Primary School in Westmoreland.

A word on Rootz Underground: Earth Hour Caribbean movement has selected the band’s frontman Stephen Newland as “one of the Caribbean’s Earth Superheroes.” Earth Caribbean notes on its Facebook page:  “As lead singer of the popular reggae band Rootz Underground Stephen and his band mates have always made an effort to promote an interest in agriculture amongst the younger generation through their music. In October 2012 he launched the Lasco Releaf Environmental Awareness Program (R.E.A.P.) which is a recycling, conservation and tree planting initiative in primary schools. R.E.A.P aims to get primary-level school children more actively involved in the environment around them. One practical way to combat climate change is to plant more trees in order to take excess carbon out of the atmosphere. Younger trees absorb carbon dioxide quickly while they are growing. Tree planting initiatives are therefore always welcomed in the fight against climate change. For his efforts to make young people more aware of their environment and using tree planting as a preventative measure against Climate Change we salute Stephen Newland, our Caribbean Earth Superhero!”  

Earth Hour Acoustic Concert in Kingston, Jamaica.
Earth Hour Acoustic Concert in Kingston, Jamaica.

What can we do on an individual basis? Before, during and after Earth Hour 2014, let’s find out more about what we can do for our blue planet. Join an environmental action organization in your neighborhood (or start one). Support causes that can help our environment live and breathe – after all, we are the environment! Get some “green” practices going at home, in your workplace and in your community.

Use Your Power to…

raise consciousness

connect with your customers

find new partnerships

support each other

and simply celebrate our beautiful, blue Earth!

You Have the Power: At the very least, turn your lights out for an hour tomorrow night. It’s a time for reflection.

For more information on Earth Hour 2014, go to: www.earthhour.org., “Like” Earth Hour and Earth Hour Caribbean on Facebook and follow on Twitter @earthhour and @EarthHourCARIB.

From Blue to Green…

A gentle reminder to join the inaugural Portland Bight Green Run on Sunday, April 27. It starts at 7:00 a.m. sharp at Vere Technical High School in Clarendon and ends in Pawsey Park, Lionel Town. The run is in support of the Caribbean Coastal Area Management Foundation’s (C-CAM) work in the Portland Bight Protected Area – which, despite the threat of a port to be built in the Goat Islands area, is celebrating 15 years as Jamaica’s largest Protected Area. To register and obtain more information, call: 289-8253 or email: ccamfngo@gmail.com. Also you can find C-CAM on Facebook!

Do join and support the inaugural "Green Run" in aid of the Caribbean Coastal Area Management Foundation's great work in the Portland Bight Protected Area.
Do join and support the inaugural “Green Run” in aid of the Caribbean Coastal Area Management Foundation’s great work in the Portland Bight Protected Area.

 

 

 


14 thoughts on “Are You Ready for Earth Hour?

  1. Reblogged this on Zeebra Designs & Destinations and commented:
    Balancing a metal colander to double the usb internet reception on the laptop’s left, and using an external keyboard on the right, I’m nudging you to read who what when where and how to prepare for earth hour. Many of you have already seen that hour come and go, but we can start planning to make next year’s event a grand one!!

    8:30 – 9:30 tonight – your local time – please: EXTINGUISH YOUR LIGHTS, turn off your chargers, and bask in the darkness. in honor of earth hour!
    Spread the word!
    yikes! it’s too slow for a reblog prompt!

    Like

    1. Thanks so much for the reblog! I do appreciate it. I hope you get your technical issues sorted out (the colander etc sounds very tricky). Best wishes to beautiful Ecuador!

      Like

      1. a search for current info about the el nino phenomenon off our coast took me to another earth day site.. yet that person boasted that he planned to burn every light, etc, and there was a long string of comments, most of those were filled with venom as well. i was shocked that people either didn’t get the essence, or they would be angry about anything, but wow… how could we call ourselves an evolved species? it makes my heart hurt.

        z

        Like

    1. Of course! No problem. Please feel free to do so! Happy Earth Hour! (sorry to hear about the slow Internet, that is frustrating…) All the best to beautiful Ecuador!

      Like

  2. I know that it’s implicit that we should do more than just be aware and active on one day. All too often, I see just an unthinking, knee-jerk reaction to energy use. It’s a bit hot? On goes the AC, rather than a fan or opening a window. Or, sit in the car idling with the AC on, for maybe hours. Much of this is just habit and an inability to cope.

    I wage a constant battle in my home as I turn off lights and appliances that are doing little else but keep each other company. We know that JPS bills are high, but for those who can afford, clearly not high enough. I even battle to have clothes hung out rather than be put into a dryer–I’ve threatened to take out the fuse 🙂

    Our rented house has solar panels, as do some neighbours. But, Jamaica has been a foot dragger again in putting energy saving high on the agenda. Having lived in Barbados, I know that their early adoption of solar power has been a saving grace with energy costs. Why is it so hard for Ja to learn the simple lessons. Obviously, we are not poor enough.

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    1. We don’t have AC at home and I am always turning off our fans etc when not in use. I am quite vigilant! We don’t have a dryer – you don’t need one in JA!
      Yes, Jamaica did miss the boat. For a while there was quite a lot of import duty on solar equipment and it was beyond most people’s reach, never really caught on. We have a solar water heater but want to take the next step and get some panels. I remember when Barbados started getting into solar power quite early. There were simply no incentives to do so in Jamaica at the time.

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  3. I have a great view of my city of a half a million people when I walk a few blocks over to the escarpment. I have done this many times during Earth hour and sadly very few people participate where I live.

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    1. Yes, several other Caribbean countries are having activities – Aruba, Belize, Barbados, Trinidad & Tobago and Dominican Rep… Probably others, too! Earth Hour Caribbean FB page just posted some of them… 🙂

      Like

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