Earth Hour

Q:  I’ve been hearing about a lights-out thing happening tomorrow, called Earth Hour. It seems like a vague concept—what is it, exactly, and will it really accomplish anything?  - Mandy, DE

A:  Earth Hour is a global, voluntary, lights-out event taking place March 29 from 8-9pm. The idea is to take some time to think about how we use energy, and, of course, to actually save energy. Earth Hour kicked off last year in Sydney, Australia, and the 2.2 million people who turned their lights off saved as much energy as if 48,000 cars had been taken off the roads for an hour. Now raise that number to the Nth  degree, because this year, Earth Hour is a global event. Roughly 30 million people in cities large and small, from Dublin to Copenhagen to Tel Aviv to Toronto have said they'll flick the switch for mama Earth. Earth Hour has even got its own burning cocktail. Check the official site for more details.

Okay, you say—if it’s happening in cities all over the world this year, what about differing time zones? Don’t worry about them. Just turn the lights off from 8-9pm, your local time. And as for how to spend an entire hour of darkness, why not invite friends over for a candle-lit party, read by candlelight, camp out in your backyard, or just relax and have some time entirely to yourself?

For a bit of Earth Hour history, an interview with supporter Cate Blanchette, and adorable words of wisdom from children, check out the Earth Hour video.

Eco-inquiries, conundrums, snafus? Write to Tobin Hack at

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