Go beyond the hour
Published by the Visayan Daily Star
Editor-in-Chief & President
Bureau Chief, Dumaguete
MAJA P. DELY
|CARLOS ANTONIO L. LEONARDIA
Earth Hour, the global event that entails the collective dimming or turning off of non-essential lights and other electrical appliances, will be held in the country tonight from 8:30 to 9:30. Each year, millions have been coming together to make Earth Hour happen, hosting events, switching off lights, and making noise on the need for action on climate change.
The Department of Environment and Natural Resources has urged Filipinos to take part in Earth Hour which it described as a great initiative that “demonstrates how small and simple steps” could help make a difference in getting communities to reflect on the devastating impacts of climate change. The agency also supports calls for Earth Hour participants to “go beyond the hour” in their daily activities.
Tonight, as we join the world in deliberately turning down our lights for one hour, let us take the time to ponder on what other small measures we can implement in our homes and lifestyles after Earth Hour ends. Replacing one incandescent light bulb with an energy saving version may not sound like much, but if a few million others make the same choice, the collective impact on the world's energy consumption and our carbon footprint should be significant.
The beauty of Earth Hour is that it doesn't need the landmark Paris Agreement on Climate Change that was recently ratified by the Senate following the endorsement of President Duterte to be effective. Those of us who choose to shine a light on climate action by participating in it can do what we can with or without the Paris Agreement. While government involvement and incentives will help, our decisions to reduce energy consumption or tweak our lifestyles to become more sustainable and earth friendly for the sake of our children doesn't depend on it. We have the power to make a difference.
Those who follow its accomplishments know Earth Hour achieves a lot even if it is celebrated only one hour every year. Imagine how much more we could achieve if its participants would go beyond the hour and commit to reduce their daily energy usage, even by just a couple of watts, for the rest of the year.
Celebrate Earth Hour. Then try to go beyond the hour.*