You’re Invited to the World’s Biggest Celebration!

Posted: March 14, 2018
Tagged As: Climate Change, Electricity, Energy, GHG Emissions

Image of Earth Hour PosterSaturday March 24, 2018 from 8:30-9:30 pm local time is Earh Hour, and you are invited to take part in the world’s biggest celebration.  Initially organized by the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) as a “lights-out” event in Sydney, Australia during 2007, the idea of Earth Hour was to engage Australians to on the issue of climate change and show a symbol of commitment to the planet. 

Earth hour was held internationally for the first time in 2008, with 35 countries around the world participating.  That year Ontario used approximately 900 megawatt-hours less electricity, and Toronto alone experienced an 8.7% reduction in consumption compared to a typical March Saturday night.

Since its early infancy, Earth Hour has grown to include 187 Countries, with more than 12,700 landmarks, thousands of businesses, and millions of people participating around the world.  The increase in awareness and participation can be somewhat attributed to the rise of social media. 

How Can Ontarians and their Municipalities Participate?

Ultimately, whether or not you participate in Earth Hour is up to you, the individual.  You can show your commitment to Mother Earth as an individual by joining the movement on the Earth Hour Website or by visiting the Earth Hour 2018 Facebook page.

If you are interested in becoming more involved, as either an individual or a municipality, you can always host your own event.  It can be something as simple as switching your lights off for the hour, or hosting a candle-lit dinner.  You could even go stargazing! 

Thinking a little bit bigger?  You could put on a gig or concert, screen a movie, or even host your own Earth Hour party.  The possibilities are endless.

Measuring the Impact

Unfortunately, Earth Hour does not purport to be an energy or carbon reduction exercise.  Rather, it is regarded as a symbolic action.  As such, the cumulative reduction of electricity or carbon attributed to Earth Hour is not actively measured.  However, there are a few ways we can see the fruits of our labour here in Ontario.  Most notably are reports from news and media outlets.  In 2017 CBC News reported that, according to Toronto Hydro, Toronto saw a 2.8% reduction (77MW) in 2017, which was less impactful than the 2016 figure of 3.2%. 

Additionally, the Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO) has plenty of electricity information to share.  Everything from estimated and actual hourly demand, costs, output by fuel type, and other comparable are all located on the same page.

Earth hour is meant to show our planet that we care and are taking steps to reduce our impact on climate change.  Whether you choose to simply sit in the dark for an hour or try to have a little fun with it, do make the effort to get involved.  After all, small changes can make a big different at the end of the day.

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