Earth Hour, organized by WWF, is observed every year on the last Saturday of March during 20:30 to 21:30 hour local time of each place. On Earth Hour people across the world from all walks of life are motivated to turn off their lights and join together in celebration and contemplation of the one thing we all have in common – our planet.
Given the stark state of our planet ― melting glaciers, under-threat animal species, world leaders who call climate change a Chinese hoax, I am reminded of the quaint wisdom in the Sanskrit shloka which we used to recite in our morning school assembly… (You might recall a rendition of this shloka towards the climax in ‘The Matrix Revolutions’.)
ॐ असतो मा सद्गमय । तमसो मा ज्योतिर्गमय । मृत्योर्मा अमृतं गमय । ॐ शान्तिः शान्तिः शान्तिःFrom untruth, O Lord, lead me to the truth; From darkness of ignorance, lead me to the light of knowledge; And from death, lead me to immortality.
The idea behind Earth Hour ― making us accept the dark for letting us understand the true worth of light.
Stand up, to take responsibility, to get involved and lead the way towards a sustainable future. Somewhere ensnared in the cobwebs of life’s intricacies, the man forgot the bigger picture, the climate. Be a part of this spectacular campaign and stand united with millions of people across the globe by switching off all your non-essential lights for an hour, at least.
This dog hopes that all of us would take some baby-steps on saving the planet. You’d be surprised how saving the planet takes no grand plan but little things like: Did you know that Just filling low tires can improve your fuel efficiency by up to 3%?
1. Opt for Car-pools, public transit, and bicycles (instead of that SUV with only you and your driver.)
Even a 2-mile car trip puts 2 pounds of CO2 into the atmosphere!
2. How about making up some space for plants at your workplace (Pothose plant) or balcony, better still planting a sapling that would grow up to be a tree. (if you’ve open spaces)
3. Swap old incandescent light bulbs for CFLs. Not only do they use only 25% as much electricity but last 10x longer. Also make sure to unplug any electronic gadget with a digital clock (like a coffee maker) as they consume power even to blink even that tiny red light.
4. From saying no to paper cups to thinking twice before hitting the ‘Print’ command ― Use less paper whenever possible. Save the trees!
5. Prefer locally produced food in your grocery list as it is cuts down on the costs to transport.
6. Opt for Green Hikes ― The next time you go for a trek, try getting rid of plastic waste and beer bottles you may find up there.
The World Wildlife Fund’s Panda Nation program, helps you set up fundraisers that combine events like bake sales or marathons with charitable donations.
7. Help to sensitize those around you on Climate Change ― The NASA website has many easy to understand graphs for even the harshest of skeptics.
Also, see this graph on What’s Really Warming the world?
In the lakeside green-shed library at Nainital, I came across the special edition of Michael Crichton volume featuring two sci-fi gems – Jurassic Park / Congo. There is this revelation in it on how the planet has withstood species and yet survived.
“This planet lives and breathes on a much vaster scale. We can’t imagine its slow and powerful rhythms, and we haven’t got the humility to try. We’ve been residents here for the blink of an eye. If we’re gone tomorrow, the earth will not miss us.”
This Earth Day as iconic buildings and landmarks from India to Australia will stand in darkness, this dog hopes that we’d realise what’s at stake while there is still time.