Are you ready to join Earth Hour?

By on March 19, 2010

An Earth Hour candlelight meditation at St. Cuthbert’s Anglican church in Toronto was held last year.

Will you be joining nearly a billion people around the world in turning off the lights on Sat., March 27, at 8:30 p.m.?

Kairos, an ecumenical justice organization, is urging Canadians to power down for Earth Hour 2010, an annual global campaign to show support for action on climate change.

What started as a small initiative by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) three years ago in Sydney, Australia, has grown into what WWF calls “the largest environmental movement in history.” Governments, individuals, churches, businesses and communities from 105 countries have already announced their participation at this year’s event, up from the 2009 total of 88.

Toronto’s CN Tower, the Mount Royal cross in Montreal, the Empire State Building, Rome’s Colosseum, and Sydney’s Harbour Bridge and Opera House are just some of the landmarks that will either dim or go dark for Earth Hour.

Switching off lights and other non-essential power for an hour each year isn’t going to solve the earth’s environmental problems, WWF acknowledged. But it does give people “a voice for the future of our planet” and sends a message to world leaders “that we want action on climate change.

The hope, too, is that people will be inspired to do more to lessen their impact on the environment. A recently released WWF-Canada national survey said only 1 in 5 (18 per cent) Canadians gave themselves an “A” when it comes to their environmental efforts. But, 80 per cent said they are willing to do more to reduce their personal and household impact. “Earth Hour serves as an annual reminder of what Canadians can do in their personal lives to help fight climate change,” said Gerald Butts, WWF-Canada president and CEO. “From leaving the car at home, to washing clothes in cold water, to shopping with reusable shopping bags, there are many simple things that Canadians can do.

So what can one do in the dark? A lot, it turns out, based on stories that people have shared on the WWF website: candlelight dinner with family and/or friends, board games, storytelling, a capella singing, a candlelight dance, and meditation, to name a few.

If you want more than a private lights-out in your own home, Kairos, a partnership of 11 churches and church-related organizations, including the Anglican Church of Canada, suggests asking your parish to hold a service during Earth Hour. It could be an indoor, candle-lit service of reflection and/or worship, or an outdoor, under-the-stars one. An online worship service guide, with the theme “Life is worth more than oil,” can be found at www. kairoscanada.org.

For more ideas on how to celebrate Earth Hour, check out the WWF-Canada website,http://wwf.ca/earthhour/participate/toolkits/

Author

  • Marites N. Sison

    Marites (Tess) Sison was editor of the Anglican Journal from August 2014 to July 2018, and senior staff writer from December 2003 to July 2014. An award-winning journalist, she has more that three decades of professional journalism experience in Canada and overseas. She has contributed to The Toronto Star and CBC Radio, and worked as a stringer for The New York Times.

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