Going beyond the hour…

On March 26 earlier this year, Earth Hour was held across the globe with much enthusiasm for the fourth year since its beginnings in Sydney. The event resulted in the expected dimming of city buildings and major landmarks, people dining in restaurants bathed in candlelight, and an ideal opportunity for self reflection.

Encouraging positive behavioral change in society’s habits of energy use is certainly a worthy goal to pursue, particularly given concerns over climate change, growing global population, and dwindling resources. Unfortunately, this underlying message has personally felt to have been overlooked, or at least significantly distorted, from the get go. This has been notably due to the display of self-righteous elitism by some participants, showing off how much they did during the event compared to others, only for them to resume their typical day to day routine as if nothing had really happened. Taking the other extreme, one of the biggest criticisms of Earth Hour is that it ultimately achieves nothing, with the perception of it trying to be a “magic bullet solution” to complex social problems.

Whilst this is certainly not representative of all participants as a whole, it does make me wonder whether the whole point of Earth Hour is actually getting across to the public. To my delight then, “This Earth Hour, go beyond the hour” was the motto for 2011, along with the appropriate addition of a “+” next to the traditional “60” logo, which better reflects the event’s core objective.

The 2011 logo for Earth Hour – Used under Earth Hour’s Terms and Conditions.

It’s a small change, but perhaps it will help clear up some misconceptions going forward. Every little bit of action helps, even if it’s only a small part of a bigger solution; an aspect that could be worked on in the future.

Are you still going beyond the hour? Feel free to share you experiences.

3 Responses to “Going beyond the hour…”

  1. rnield says:

    One of my friends organised an event at the pub by candlelight and it was really really successful. Despite the fact that it may do little as far as reducing our carbon footprint, I think it is a fantastic way to raise awareness about doing so. I certainly used the occasion to get some less environmentally aware friends involved. Every little bit helps!!! 🙂

  2. kimmy says:

    Great post! I agree and feel that many companies and businesses have used Earth Hour to compete over who is the most ‘green’. So this year when the new moto was introduced I was quite pleased as it highlights the need to go beyond a one off event but instead make a definitive change to one’s lifestyle. My Earth Hour Experience involved my mum and I heading down to the river where we have a good view of the city. Unfortunately only a single light went out 🙁

  3. I loved the tagline that came with the campaign this year. I was at my dad’s during Earth hour, and he flat out refuses to participate. So I instead planted 4 native trees in his bare backyard. The timing was purely coincidental – he has whinged about the lack of shade for his 70kg dog for years so I was doing what he wouldn’t. But it turned into my way of encouraging him to go ‘beyond the hour’ by looking after these trees (he’s notorious for killing even plastic plants).