Earth Hour in Jamaica and the Caribbean

It was a warm night in Kingston, Jamaica. Down at the National Stadium, the annual high school athletics championships were drawing to an end, in a resounding climax of noise, vuvuzelas ringing (yes, we still have vuvuzelas in Jamaica, a throwback from the last football World Cup). For the sports fans and supporters of their respective schools (including those watching the live broadcast at home), there was no way that they were going to shut down for an hour.

Earth Hour at home in Kingston. Backdrop: Neighbors' loud party music!
Earth Hour at home in Kingston. Backdrop: Neighbors’ loud party music!

This was a pity, because from 8:30 to 9:30 p.m. local time (everywhere, globally) millions celebrated Earth Hour by simply switching off. This was an easy thing for the two of us to do at home, since we had no interest in “Champs” anyway. We turned out all our lights and appliances at 8:30 p.m., lit candles and our oil lamp, and sat quietly in the dark, sipping wine and chatting. However, even then our reflective mood was completely spoiled by a close neighbor, who was having a party. Now, Jamaican parties are loud. They are non-negotiable. The music takes over. So we endured a great deal of distorted hip hop and dancehall music from our neighbor’s loudspeakers – before, during and after Earth Hour.

This tweet was sent with a photo of the acoustic concert: "Lanterns making their way to the sky in recognition of #EarthHourJA while #Nature brings "world peace" #greatmoment "
This tweet was sent with a photo of the acoustic concert: Lanterns making their way to the sky in recognition of #EarthHourJA while #Nature brings “world peace” #greatmoment 
Representatives of the telecoms firm Flow, together with Rootz Underground singer Stephen Newland (hidden, in the middle) release a lantern at the end of the Earth Hour acoustic concert in Kingston.
Representatives of the telecoms firm Flow, together with Rootz Underground singer Stephen Newland (hidden, in the middle) release a lantern at the end of the Earth Hour acoustic concert in Kingston.

This, too, was unfortunate – especially since our neighbors rarely indulge in parties these days, but chose this particular night to do so. Not too far away, though, a special Earth Hour acoustic concert was taking place at the Ranny Williams Entertainment Centre. The concert was free and open to the public; several local firms were sponsors, with some of them holding special Twitter events and photo competitions. It was really good to see the private sector on board; and to read the many comments from appreciative participants.  Lanterns were released into the night sky. There were glow sticks and bangles, and sparklers (what Jamaicans call “starlights”). There were “good vibes.”

Elsewhere in the Caribbean, other countries held their own celebrations – small, private or public, it mattered not. The important thing was to recognize and honor our Planet. After all, it’s the only one we’ve got.

Please see below some more photos of Earth Hour in Jamaica and elsewhere in the Caribbean… I don’t have live photos of all the events, however, although I gleaned as many as possible from Facebook pages.

Earth Hour Barbados.
Earth Hour Barbados.
Earth Hour 2015 in the Caribbean will be even bigger and better!
Earth Hour 2015 in the Caribbean will be even bigger and better!
Earth Hour at the University of Belize.
Earth Hour at the University of Belize.
Earth Hour Curacao.
Earth Hour Curacao.

 

Hora Del Planeta in Dominican Republic.
Hora Del Planeta in Dominican Republic.
Students from Bishop Anstey Trinity College East Sixth Form celebrating Earth Hour in Trinidad and Tobago.
Students from Bishop Anstey Trinity College East Sixth Form celebrating Earth Hour in Trinidad and Tobago.
Spiderman was out in support at the Trinidad Hilton.
Spiderman was out in support at the Trinidad Hilton.
Earth Strong TT and Trinidad Carnival Diary prepared solar-powered lanterns for Earth Hour.
Earth Strong TT and Trinidad Carnival Diary prepared solar-powered lanterns for Earth Hour.
Members of the Aruba Community Group get to work on some beautiful art for Earth Hour.
Members of the Aruba Community Group get to work on some beautiful art for Earth Hour.
Earth Hour at Fort Zoutman, Aruba. (Photo: Facebook)
Earth Hour at Fort Zoutman, Aruba. (Photo: Facebook)
The concert glowed...
The concert in Kingston just glowed…
Sparklers!
Sparklers! In Kingston
Flow's staff joined an Earth Hour promotion on Facebook.
Flow’s staff joined an Earth Hour promotion on Facebook.
Jamaica Yellow Pages' Earth Hour flyer.
Jamaica Yellow Pages’ Earth Hour flyer.

8 thoughts on “Earth Hour in Jamaica and the Caribbean

  1. Once the stats were in for my city, the amount of power saved would power 750 homes for 24 hours. The participation in Earth Hour dropped a few percentage points here also. I think there is going to have to be some other type of idea to re-ignite world participation.

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    1. Oh, that’s a shame. But that amount of power saved seems substantial to me… Earth Hour has only just started to catch on, in the Caribbean and there was more effort this year…

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  2. Vuvuzelas ‘ringing’. Never thought of the sound that way https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UnkKISn-DvQ. Buzzing, like a kazoo?

    Another aspect of ‘Earth Hour’ in Jamaica is that many places didn’t have the option to turn off lights because they don’t have power in the first place, or it’s intermittent. Last figures I saw on this suggested about 20,000–not huge, but not trivial.

    Those who have ready access tend to be less conscious about saving (as I’ve mentioned elsewhere), but let’s keep plugging this 😉 (despite the pun).

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    1. No, the vuvuzelas ring round the stadium, when heard from a distance (annoyingly, in our front yard). So 20,000 people were without power anyway during Earth Hour? Maybe in some rural areas. There is a Rural Electrification program but… Our partying neighbors, and of course Champs, had no intention of switching off, but still…

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