When we were looking for a meaningful launch date for Ready For The Shift (RFTS) in 2011, we chose the date of that year’s Earth Hour event, which fell on March 26th in 2011 and annually occurs on the last weekend in March. As Wendy and I are strong supporters of sustainability, we believe change would occur more quickly and in a more positive direction, if we stop using fossil fuels for our power/energy needs. This worldwide dip in power usage around the world is noticeable and creates a strong message to the power players in control of the world’s energy supply.
Earth Hour was started in Sydney, Australia in 2007 as a local event, but grew bigger and bigger each year. Although plans were made to make Earth Hour a national event in Australia, international interest was sparked and each year more countries jumped on board. Now, just 7 years later, 154 countries are involved!
The Earth Hour event has gone way beyond just a display of saving or changing the way(s) we use and create energy; the world’s people have taken it to the next level. In today’s world of crowd sourcing, individuals, organizations, corporations, small businesses and countries, are raising funds to move the world in a more positive direction. Some countries are taking the estimated amount of money saved within a country during “Earth Hour”, and have parlayed the funds into environmental action for the good. Take a look at some of the projects on the Earth Hour site, where they are listed by country in this section labeled Earth Hour Around The World.
“You know, that when we started Earth Hour, we wanted it to be something different. We wanted it to be about hope, not fear. We wanted it to be “street party”, not “street protest.” And we wanted it to inspire that sense of common purpose. And we somehow achieved this, it was amazing!” – Andy Ridley
Andy Ridley, CEO and Co-Founder of Earth Hour, discusses the event at TEDxWWF in June 2013:
Earth Hour has gone from a one city event in one country, to one in which 150+ countries, in 4,000 cities around the world, participated last year. It’s become a launch platform for many environmental challenges and issues. You can check out the projects and commitments people have made on the Earth Hour Crowdsourcing page. As you saw in the video, it can be as simple as the little boy who said he would give up chocolate for a week if 20 of his neighbors “greened” their apartment balconies, or the group that’s raising money to create a documentary about the Great Barrier Reef and how it’s being effected by climate change. In Uganda, they are raising money by turning off the lights, in order to turn on the lights for 600 homes without power!
The inspiration and motivation that a simple thing like turning off your lights for an hour can make, is mind-blowing. Tonight, from 8:30PM to 9:30PM, please turn off your lights. Turn off as much power as you can. Today, even toasters have LEDs and LCD panels which draw current – unplug them. When I lived in England for work in the late 90s, I noticed that most of the wall outlets/power points, all had discrete switches to turn them off. At night, instead of unplugging all of your small kitchen appliances, all you needed to do was flick the switch. How come we don’t have that in the USA? Just a simple item like a powered outlet would save so much energy!
Think of something fun to do during that time tonight. Light some candles and have a romantic dinner. Talk about how life must have been without electricity and appreciate what we have now. Once we all care, the world with shift in a more positive direction.
© 2014, Ready For The Shift. ™ Wendy & Greg Zangari, All rights reserved. Permission is granted to copy and redistribute these articles on the condition that the content remains complete and in tact, full credit is given to the author(s), and that it is distributed freely.