Today is the 23rd March, and that means, other than its Saturday and the first day of the working week, that it is that one day a year that people all over the world show their support for the environment.
Thats Earth Hour.
Last year, the Environmental Society of Oman joined the rest of the world for the second time in the Earth Hour. It's an initiative where people turn off their electrical appliances, lights and whatever else uses electricity for an hour between 8:30 and 9:30 pm on a designated date, this year the date is today: March 23rd. Last year here in the Sultanate, an estimated 53,000KWh of electricity was saved (up from 20,000 KWh in 2011). This year the ESO are trying a new tack: The board members of the ESO will join hands with Muscat Municipality if over 2000 people pledge to lend their support to the Environmental Society of Oman by signing up over here:
At the time of publishing, the count was at 1,385 - so a little way to go to get to the magic 2,000, but it's doable!
Here's a few tips to help save some electricity during the hour, and in general:
1. Turn lights off in rooms you are not in. If you have outside lights, turn them off too.
2. When you are done charging your mobile device, camera or whatever, turn the power off at the wall - chargers suck electricity whether you have a phone plugged into them or not.
3. Turn your TV/DVD/Sound off at the wall, even in "Standby" mode, they are still using a surprising amount of power. Check out this graph and this table showing just how much various appliances use around the home when in standby mode, it's quite interesting to see.
4. Believe it or not, the amount of energy expended in rearing livestock is actually significant, by eating vegetarian even just one day a week, you are reducing your carbon footprint.
As for things to do during the Earth Hour, here's my suggestions:
1. Dinner by candle light
2. Going for a walk
3. Talking with friends
4. Take a nap!
5. Play hide in the dark!
Here's an example of my favourite City, Toronto, during Earth hour 5 years ago:
Lets see if we can do better here in Oman!