If you haven't already heard, Earth Hour 2009 is fast approaching. The running counter on the web site shows that at this moment the event will begin just shy of 6 days from now. (Earth Hour will take place on March 28th, 09, from 8:30 - 9:30pm local time) This will be the third year of Earth Hour since Sydney Australia went lights-out in 2007, capturing the attention of the world. 2008 the event went global and was a huge success. Last year over 36 million turned off their lights to participate...but it's not just about lights.
In our place we turned off all forms of electricity other than our refrigerator, and went the prime time hour without TV, music or the laptop. We went to the rooftop of our building and watched the skyline to see if we would be able to see the city go dark, but it was cold and when our clocks said the hour had begun, we became impatient and headed back in. Later though, we did see pictures of how many buildings and businesses did participate, and the satellite shots were amazing! There is also a video on the site that shows the whole story with lots of great real-time footage of the lights going out. It's really awe-inspiring to see a global movement like this is support of making changes to reverse climate change.
Click here to see the light and dark pictures of recognizable areas downtown and along the mag mile from 2008. The most dramatic before and after shots to me were the images of the entire Tribune Tower and the ferris wheel shot at Navy Pier, as well as the marquis' of the Oriental and Chicago Theaters.
I'm not going to be in Chicago for Earth Hour this year, but I'll be working to get my grandpa to help by letting us turn off his lights and TV in Florida. Maybe I'll suggest a candlelit game of cards out on the screened-in porch? But you can all sign up at the site and participate too! If you have not done so already, follow the link, sign yourself up, and then urge your family, friends, coworkers and businesses to do the same. This is one way to illustrate how big a difference we can make as individuals when we all work together!