Essay About Earth Hour Activities

Earth Hour
Date24 March 2018, from 8:30 pm to 9:30 pm.

Earth Hour is a worldwide movement organized by the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF). The event is held annually encouraging individuals, communities, and businesses to turn off non-essential electric lights for one hour, from 8:30 to 9:30 pm on a specific day towards the end of March, as a symbol of commitment to the planet.[1] It was started as a lights-off event in Sydney, Australia, in 2007. Since then, it has grown to engage more than 7,000 cities and towns across 187 countries and territories.[2]

Occasionally, in years when Holy Saturday falls on the last Saturday of March, Earth Hour is moving a week early rather than its traditional date.

Earth Hour 2018 will be on March 24, from 8:30 pm to 9:30 pm.


Conception and start: 2004–2007[edit]

In 2004, confronted with scientific findings, WWF Australia met with advertising agency Leo Burnett Sydney to "discuss ideas for engaging Australians on the issue of climate change".[3] The idea of a large scale switch off was coined and developed in 2006, originally under the working title "The Big Flick". WWF Australia presented their concept to Fairfax Media who, along with Sydney Lord Mayor Clover Moore, agreed to back the event.[3] The 2007 Earth Hour was held on March 31 in Sydney, Australia at 7:30 pm, local time.

In October 2007 San Francisco ran its own "Lights Out" program inspired by the Sydney Earth Hour.[4] After their successful event in October, the organizers decided to rally behind the Earth Hour being planned for March 2008.[5]


Earth Hour 2008 was held internationally on March 29, 2008 from 8 pm to 9 pm local time, marking the first anniversary of the event. 35 countries around the world participated as official flagship cities and over 400 cities also supported. Landmarks around the world turned off their non-essential lighting for Earth Hour. Some websites took part in the event, with Google's homepage going "dark" on the day .[6]

According to a Zogby International online survey, 36 million Americans—approximately 16 percent of the United States adult population—participated in Earth Hour 2008. The survey also showed there was a 4 percentage point increase in the level of interest in environmental issues such as climate change and pollution directly after the event (73 percent pre-event versus 77 percent post-event).[7]

Tel Aviv scheduled their Earth Hour for Thursday March 27, 2008 to avoid conflict with Sabbath.[8] Dublin moved their Earth Hour to between 9 and 10 pm due to their northern geographical location.[9]

According to WWF Thailand, Bangkok decreased electricity usage by 73.34 megawatts, which, over one hour, is equivalent to 41.6 tonnes of carbon dioxide.[10] The Bangkok Post gave different figures of 165 megawatt-hours and 102 tonnes of carbon dioxide. This was noted to be significantly less than a similar campaign initiated by Bangkok's City Hall the previous year in May, when 530 megawatt-hours were saved and 143 tonnes of carbon dioxide emission were cut.[11]

Philippine Electricity Market Corp. noted that power consumption dropped by about 78.63 megawatts in Metro Manila, and up to 102.2 megawatts on Luzon.[12] The maximum demand drop of around 39 MW was experienced at 8:14 pm in Metro Manila and of around 116 MW at 8:34 pm in the Luzon grid.[13]

Ontario used approximately 900 megawatt-hours less electrical energy during Earth Hour. At one point, Toronto saw an 8.7% reduction in consumption as compared to a typical March Saturday night.[14]

Ireland, as a whole, had a reduction in electricity use of about 1.5% for the evening.[15] In the three-hour period between 6:30 pm and 9:30 pm, there was a reduction of 50 megawatts, saving 150 megawatt-hours, or approximately 60 tonnes of carbon dioxide.[16]

In Dubai, where external lighting on several major city landmarks was turned off and street lighting in selected areas was dimmed by 50%, the Electricity and Water Authority reported savings of 100 megawatt-hours of electricity. This represented a 2.4% reduction in demand compared to before the hour began.[17]

The best result was from Christchurch, New Zealand, with the city reporting a drop of 13% in electricity demand. However, national grid operator Transpower reported that New Zealand's power consumption during Earth Hour was 335 megawatts, higher than the 328 megawatt average of the previous two Saturdays.[18]Melbourne, Australia reduced demand by 10.1%. Sydney, being the city that participated in both the 2007 and 2008 Earth Hours, cut electricity consumption by 8.4%. This is less than the previous year's 10.2%; however, Earth Hour executive director Andy Ridley made the claim that after factoring margin of error, the participation in this city was the same.[19]

The worst result was from Calgary, Canada. The city's power consumption actually went up 3.6% at the hour's peak electricity demand.[20] Calgary's weather plays a large role in power consumption, and the city experienced weather 12 °C (around 22 °F) colder than the previous Saturday's recorded temperature in the inaugural year.[21]Enmax, the city's power supplier, has confirmed that in all subsequent years, Calgarians have not supported the Earth Hour initiative, noting that power consumption changed only marginally during the hour in 2010 and 2011 (1% or less) and in 2012 and 2013 showed no appreciable change in power usage at all.[22][23]


Earth Hour 2009 was from 8:30 pm to 9:30 pm local time, March 28, 2009. The campaign was titled "Vote Earth" and was dubbed "the world's first global vote" with one billion votes was the stated aim for Earth Hour 2009,[24] in the context of the pivotal 2009 United Nations Climate Change Conference. WWF reported that 88 countries and 4,159 cities participated in Earth Hour 2009,[25] ten times more cities than Earth Hour 2008 had (2008 saw 400 cities participate).

Among the participants in 2009 was, for the first time, the United Nations Headquarters in New York City.[26]

In Egypt, the lights went out on the Sphinx and the Great Pyramids of Giza from 8:30 to 9:30 pm.[27]

The Philippines saw participation from 647 cities and towns; over 10 million Filipinos were estimated to have joined in the hour-long lights-off.[28] This was followed by Greece with 484 cities and towns participating, and Australia with 309.[29]

Despite official organizers WWF stating that the event is not about the reduction in electricity, a number of public institutions reported on electricity savings in their cities to see participation numbers. The Canadian province of Ontario, excluding the city of Toronto, saw a decrease of 6% in electricity usage while Toronto saw a decrease of 15.1% (nearly doubled from 8.7% the previous year) as many businesses darkened, including the landmark CN Tower.[30]

The Philippines was able to save 611 MWh of electricity during the time period, which is said to be equivalent to shutting down a dozen coal-fired power plants for an hour.[31]

Swedish electricity operator Svenska Kraftnät recorded a 2.1% decrease in power consumption from its projected figure between 8 pm and 9 pm. The following hour, the corresponding number was 5%.[32] This is equivalent to the consumption of approximately half a million households out of the total 4.5 million households in Sweden.[33]

According to Vietnam Electricity Company, Vietnam's electricity demand fell 140 MWh during Earth Hour.


96 countries and territories on 6 continents participated in the event in 2009.

Participating television and radio stations[edit]

Malaysia's 8TV halted transmission for one hour starting from 20:30[34]


Earth Hour 2010 was held from 8:30 pm to 9:30 pm local time on March 27.[35] In Israel, the hour was held on April 22.[36]

126 countries participated in Earth Hour 2010.[37]

In the United States polling showed that an estimated 90,000,000 Americans participated in Earth Hour as lights were turned off around the country, including landmarks such as Mount Rushmore, the Las Vegas Strip, the Empire State Building and Niagara Falls.

Some cities and landmarks took the opportunity to make more long-term adjustments to their everyday power consumption. In Chicago, the Building Owners and Managers Association (BOMA) developed lighting guidelines to reduce light pollution and reduce the carbon footprint of downtown buildings. Mount Rushmore in South Dakota started powering down each night around 9 pm instead of 11 pm.

In Vietnam, electricity demand fell 500,000 kWh during Earth Hour 2010, which was three times larger than the first time the country joined the event in 2009.[38]

In the Philippines, 1,067 towns and cities pledged participation in 2010 and over 15 million Filipinos participated in the event.

About 4000 cities participated, including landmarks such as Big Ben, the Empire State Building, the Sydney Opera House, the Eiffel Tower, the Parthenon, the Brandenburg Gate, and the Forbidden City.[39]

Participating TV channels and radio stations[edit]

  • National Geographic Channel Asia and Cartoon Network both suspended broadcasting from 8:30 pm to 9:30 pm
  • In the Philippines, GMA Network turned off lights in their building from 8:30 pm to 9:30 pm, while ABS-CBN stopped broadcasting and turned off their lights.
  • Vietnam's FBNC channel joined hands with Earth Hour Vietnam.
  • The Agenda with Steve Paikin on TVOntario ran its full program running only on candlelight again.


Earth Hour 2011 was the biggest year in the campaign's five-year history, reaffirming it as the largest ever voluntary action for the environment. In 2011, the tagline "Beyond the Hour" was adopted by organizers as a way to encourage people to take their commitment to the cause beyond the 60-minute event. Together with agency Leo Burnett, Earth Hour unveiled an updated planet themed logo that included a small plus symbol to the right of the signature "60" which was used in previous years. The 60+ symbol continues to be the main logo used by campaign organizers around the world.

Earth Hour 2011 took place in a record 5,251 cities and towns in 135 countries and territories on all seven continents.[40] It had an estimated reach of 1.8 billion people across the globe. In addition to this, the campaign's digital footprint grew to 91 million.[41]

In India, Earth Hour 2011 was held on March 26, 2011 from 8:30 pm to 9:30 pm. IST, flagged off by the Chief Minister of DelhiSheila Dikshit and Earth Hour 2011 Ambassador and Bollywood actress Vidya Balan in the presence of Jim Leape, Director General, WWF International.[42] Rosebowl channel suspended broadcasting from 8.30 pm to 9.30 pm to mark the observance of Earth Hour.

In Azerbaijan, Maiden Tower darkened for Earth Hour.[43]

The Philippines, which has been an active participant of the Earth Hour, had an early "earth hour" when power was accidentally interrupted,[44] plunging Metro Manila and nearby provinces into darkness. After power was restored, major buildings, commercial centers and residential areas in Metro Manila and most provinces continued to turn off their lights, while participating channels in the Philippines, ABS-CBN and Cartoon Network halted their transmissions for an hour.

30 provinces and cities in Vietnam took part in Earth Hour 2011 with the main event held in Nha Trang. The nation's electricity demand fell 400,000 kWh, one-fifth less than the previous year's. Vietnam managed to save 500 million VND (US$23,809) thanks to the saved power.[45]

YouTube promoted the Earth Hour by changing its logo, and by adding a switch on/off feature near the title of each video, so that users could change the background colour from white to black.

One of the least co-operative areas traditionally has been Alberta; in 2008, Calgary's power consumption went up during Earth Hour. The trend continued in 2011 when Edmonton's power usage also increased. While Calgary's power usage went down in 2011 during the event, electricity officials could not distinguish their readings between normal usage and a conscious attempt to participate.[46]


Earth Hour Global headquarters was moving from Sydney to Singapore in February 2012. A launch event took place at ION Orchard on February 20, with the move supported by Singapore's Economic Development Board (EDB) and WWF-Singapore.[47]

Earth Hour 2012 was observed on March 31, 2012, from 8:30 pm to 9:30 pm (participants' local time).[48] It took place in more than 7000 cities and towns across 152 countries and territories, making it the biggest growth year for the campaign since 2009. It was also the first year that Earth Hour was celebrated in space, with Dutch astronaut André Kuipers tweeting at various moments during the event's trek around the globe.[49]


Earth Hour 2013 was held across the world on Saturday, March 23 at 8:30 pm to 9:30 pm local time[50] to avoid taking place after European Summer Time began, ensuring a greater impact for the lights-off event. It was also changed to avoid coinciding with the Christian Holy Saturday, which fell on March 30 of that year.[citation needed]


In 2013, the world's first Earth Hour Forest began in Uganda, an ongoing project that aims to restore 2700 hectares of degraded land. Standard Chartered Bank-Uganda pledged to help fill the forest with more than 250,000 trees.[51]

Earth Hour commemorations in Madagascar had as their highlight the distribution of one thousand wood-saving stoves to victims of the cyclone Haruna in the southern town of Toliara, extensively damaged in February 22 storm. WWF-Madagascar and ADES (Association pour le Développement de l'Energie Solaire) distributed an additional 2,200 wood-saving stoves later that year.

Former President of Botswana, Festus Mogae promised to plant one million indigenous trees over four years, as part of his "I Will If You Will" challenge for Earth 2013.[52]


WWF-Russia launched its 2013 campaign aiming to secure more than 100,000 signatures from Russian citizens to petition for amendments to the current forest legislation. The petition reached more than 127,000 signatures before the Earth Hour event, ensuring the legislation was debated in the State Duma by politicians.[53]


Earth Hour 2014 took place on Saturday, March 29, during the same 8:30 to 9:30 pm local timeslot. Earth Hour Blue was launched as a global crowdfunding and crowdsourcing platform for the planet.[54] "It is all about the collective effort of individuals around the world getting together to help fund or add their voice to support on-the-ground environmental and social projects that deliver real outcomes."[55]

The Earth Hour 2014 Report[56] highlighted a broad range of environmental outcomes achieved by the movement across 162 countries and territories around the world. More than US$60,000 was raised on the Earth Hour Blue platform for grassroots environmental projects run by WWF. The movement also saw campaigns to help protect Australia's Great Barrier Reef, the launch of a Blue Sky App in China, and the delivery of thousands of wood efficient stoves to communities in Madagascar.


Earth Hour 2015 took place on Saturday, March 28, again between 8:30 and 9:30 pm local time.[57] The tagline for the global campaign was "Change Climate Change", returning to the movement's original focus to initiate citizen action on global warming. A day before the event, over 170 countries and territories had confirmed their participation; with more than 1200 landmarks and close to 40 UNESCO world heritage sites set for the switch off.[58]

For the second year running, Earth Hour Blue aims to raise funds for WWF organized climate focused projects on a crowdfunding platform.[59] This year, crowdfunding projects include solar light distribution in the Philippines[60] and India,[61] and wildlife based projects from Colombia,[62] Uganda and Indonesia.[63]

Uniquely participating in the Earth Hour activity are the inhabitants of an island called Sibuyan in the Philippines who turned on their lights to elevate the message of using renewable energy. The island's source of electricity is a mini-hydro power plant.[64]


Earth Hour 2016 was on Saturday, March 19, from 8:30 pm to 9:30 pm during participants' local time. It was also changed to avoid coinciding with the Christian Holy Saturday, which fell on March 26 of that year. It was the 10th year anniversary of the campaign's beginnings in Sydney, Australia. Östersund in Sweden cancelled the 2016 event, following a spate of sex attacks, highlighting safety as a subject for discussion when saving resources.[citation needed] Almost all the countries in the world observed Earth Hour.


Earth Hour occurred on Saturday, March 25.


Earth Hour 2018 will be on March 24, from 8:30 pm to 9:30 pm in participants' time, in order to avoid coinciding with Christian Holy Saturday which will fall on March 31.

Organizations that support Earth Hour[edit]

Earth Hour is supported around the world by Woodland,[65]CBRE Group,[66] the National Hockey League,[67]FIFA,[68]UEFA,[69]Hilton Worldwide,[70]Girl Scouts of the US,[67] World Organization of the Scouts Movement,[71]UNESCO,[72] the UN Environment Programme, the International Trade Union Confederation,[73]HSBC,[74] World Association of the Girl Guides and Girl Scouts,[71]Philips,[75]IKEA,[76]The Body Shop,[77]ING Vysya Bank,[78] and more.

Measurement of reduction in electricity use[edit]

The Earth Hour Global FAQ page states:

Earth Hour does not purport to be an energy/carbon reduction exercise, it is a symbolic action. Therefore, we do not engage in the measurement of energy/carbon reduction levels for the hour itself. Earth Hour is an initiative to encourage individuals, businesses and governments around the world to take accountability for their ecological footprint and engage in dialogue and resource exchange that provides real solutions to our environmental challenges. Participation in Earth Hour symbolizes a commitment to change beyond the hour.[79]

A 2014 study published in Energy Research and Social Science compiled 274 measurements of observed changes in electricity demand caused by Earth Hour in 10 countries, spanning 6 years, and found that the events reduced electricity consumption an average of 4%.[80] The study noted the policy challenge of converting Earth Hour's short-term energy saving into longer-term actions, including sustained changes in behaviour and investment.


Some critics point out that the reduction in power consumption in most cases is insignificant.[81]The Herald Sun equated the power savings in the Sydney central business district to "taking 48,613 cars off the road for 1 hour".[citation needed] Australian columnist Andrew Bolt pointed out that "A cut so tiny is trivial – equal to taking six cars off the road for a year".[82]

Other criticisms of Earth Hour have included the following:

  • Other environmentalists have criticized Earth Hour's focus on individual behaviour, when a small number of fossil fuel companies have emitted the vast majority of man-made carbon emissions.[83] Adam McGibbon, writing for The Independent, criticized Earth Hour for releasing fossil fuel companies and politicians from their responsibility to deal with climate change.[84]
  • George Marshall of the Climate Outreach Information Network criticized Earth Hour for "playing into the hands of (the critics of environmentalists)," as darkness is symbolic of fear and decay. "The overwhelming need at the moment is to inspire ordinary people with a vision of a better world, to make them feel that action on climate change is utterly desirable and positive.... the cultural resonance (of Earth Hour) couldn't be any worse."[85]
  • The Competitive Enterprise Institute has introduced an opposing Human Achievement Hour in celebration of human progress in various fields of industry, including technology, medicine, energy, and more. During this hour, the Institute suggests that people celebrate by using modern technology such as electricity, telecommunications and indoor plumbing.[86]
  • Bjørn Lomborg, author of The Skeptical Environmentalist, wrote, "It is vital to make solar and other new technology cheaper than fossil fuels quickly so we can turn off carbon energy sources for a lot longer than one hour and keep the planet running... Fossil fuels literally gave us an enlightenment, by lighting our world and giving us protection from the fury of the elements. It is ironic that today's pure symbolism should hark back to a darker age."[87] Lomborg also pointed out the feel-good factor Earth Hour creates, noting that it is an "ineffective feel good event" that makes people feel they are doing something for the environment, while in reality the amount of carbon emissions reduced by the earth hour is negligible.[88]
  • The Christian Science Monitor said that most candles are made from paraffin, a heavy hydrocarbon derived from crude oil, a fossil fuel, and that depending on how many candles a person burns (if one uses candles during Earth Hour), whether or not they normally use compact fluorescent light bulbs, and what source of energy is used to produce their electricity, in some cases, replacing light bulbs with candles will cause an increase, instead of a decrease, in carbon dioxide emissions.[89]
  • On March 29, 2009, one day after Earth Hour 2009, Dân Trí Daily News published an editorial expressing concern that many young people chose to drive around the darkened city of Hanoi for fun, exhausting petroleum instead of electricity and resulting in long traffic jams.[90]
  • In 2009, economist Ross McKitrick criticized the idea, saying, "Abundant, cheap electricity has been the greatest source of human liberation in the 20th century.[...] The whole mentality around Earth Hour demonizes electricity."[91]
  • In March 2010, The Daily Telegraph quoted Ross Hayman, head of media relations at the UK National Grid, as saying "it could therefore result in an increase in carbon emissions" due to complications related to rapidly lowering then raising electricity generation.[92]
  • In February 2010, Rick Giles, president of ACT on Campus, the youth wing of New Zealand's ACT Party, appeared on the morning television show Sunrise to denounce Earth Hour and instead suggested the celebration of "Edison Hour". He argued that Earth Hour is an "anti-technology" cause, and that people will simply use candles instead, which is undesirable as they are petroleum-based. He argued that if we are heading for some kind of disaster, it makes sense to use technology to combat this.[93] Rick said "I think my argument is so powerful that it's not necessary to talk about it".
  • The Ayn Rand Institute wrote, "Participants spend an enjoyable sixty minutes in the dark, safe in the knowledge that the life-saving benefits of industrial civilization are just a light switch away... Forget one measly hour with just the lights off. How about Earth Month... Try spending a month shivering in the dark without heating, electricity, refrigeration; without power plants or generators; without any of the labor-saving, time-saving, and therefore life-saving products that industrial energy makes possible."[94]
  • Expressing sarcastic support for Earth Hour, the pro-carbon Carbon Sense Coalition wants Earth Hour to be renamed "Blackout Night", and to be held outside on the shortest and coldest day of the year " prepare our population for the dark days ahead".[95]
  • During the 2010 Earth Hour in the city of Uusikaupunki in Finland, a 17-year-old female motorcyclist hit a 71-year-old man, who was walking on the street instead of the sidewalk for an unknown reason. The man died from his injuries, while the motorcyclist and her passenger were uninjured. At the time of the accident the street lights had been turned off as part of the Earth Hour. The police stated that the lack of street lighting may have played a part in the accident, while the mayor believed the city's street lights would have been too dim to prevent it even if they had been on.[96][97]
  • Jeremy Clarkson, ex-host of the BBC motoring programme Top Gear, claimed switching on all electrical items in his home as a protest against the perceived impact of Earth Hour, claiming the event would have little to no effect on attitudes towards climate change.[98]

See also[edit]


  1. ^"About Us". Earth Hour. Retrieved 2014-03-31. 
  2. ^"Earth Hour 2017 report"(PDF). 
  3. ^ ab"history". Earth Hour. Archived from the original on March 27, 2012. Retrieved 2012-03-31. 
  4. ^John M. Glionna (September 19, 2007). "Hour leg of darkness". LA Times. 
  5. ^"Moving forward | Lights Out San Francisco". October 24, 2007. Retrieved 2013-09-30. 
  6. ^"World Cities Shut Lights for Earth Hour 2008". Associated Press. Retrieved February 4, 2014. 
  7. ^"36 Million Americans Take Part in World Wildlife Fund's Global 'Earth Hour'". Reuters. April 28, 2008. Retrieved 2015-10-05. 
  8. ^Ross, Oakland (March 28, 2008). "Tel Aviv rock concert gets power from pedals". Toronto Star. pp. A1, A10. Retrieved 2008-03-29. 
  9. ^Winsa, Patty (March 27, 2008). "Someone get the lights". Toronto Star. Retrieved 2015-10-02. 
  10. ^"Canadians go dark with world for Earth Hour". CBC. March 2008. Retrieved 2008-03-30. 
  11. ^"Lights out campaign disappointing: Bangkok helps save very little energy". Bangkok Post. March 2008. Retrieved 2008-03-30. [dead link]
  12. ^"Earth Hour made dent in power use". Philippine Daily Inquirer. March 31, 2008. Archived from the original on May 26, 2008. Retrieved 2009-03-29. 
  13. ^"WWF calls for 'lights out' event in 2009". Philippine Daily Inquirer. December 11, 2008. Archived from the original on December 12, 2008. Retrieved 2009-03-29. 
  14. ^Gorrie, Peter (March 2008). "Toronto hits energy target". Toronto Star. Retrieved 2008-03-30. 
  15. ^"Ireland uses less power for 'Earth Hour'". RTÉ News. March 2008. Retrieved 2008-03-30. 
  16. ^"Call for continuation of Earth Hour ethos". March 2008. Retrieved 2008-03-31. 
  17. ^"Dubai slashes energy use for Earth Hour". Arabian Business. March 2008. Retrieved 2008-04-01. 
  18. ^Lights on, power use up for Earth Hour. Kelly Andrew. The Dominion Post. Monday, March 31, 2008.
  19. ^Gorrie, Peter (March 31, 2008). "Where do we go from here?". Toronto Star. pp. A1, A17. Retrieved 2008-03-31. 
  20. ^"Calgary's Earth Hour effort uses more power, not less". Global Calgary. March 30, 2008. Archived from the original on March 5, 2009. Retrieved 2008-03-30. 
  21. ^"Edmontonians cut power consumption by 1.5 per cent during Earth Hour". Edmonton Journal. April 1, 2008. Archived from the original on March 5, 2009. Retrieved 2008-04-07. 
  22. ^Nolais, Jeremy. "Earth Hour sees little change in Calgary electricity use | Metro". Retrieved 2013-09-30. 
  23. ^"CBC News report 24 March 2013". March 24, 2013. Retrieved 2013-09-30. 
  24. ^"Vote Earth – Leo Burnett to Launch the World's First Global Election". Campaign Brief Australia. February 6, 2009. Retrieved May 31, 2015. 
  25. ^"Step Forward – Earth Hour 2010". Ecology Global Network. Retrieved May 31, 2015. 
  26. ^"Press release March 2009 – UNEP to observe Earth Hour in support of action on climate change – United Nations Environment Programme". UNEP. Archived from the original on September 7, 2009. Retrieved March 25, 2010. 
  27. ^"Great Pyramids of Giza to switch off for Earth Hour". Archived from the original on March 27, 2009. 
  28. ^"Philippines: Earth Hour 2010". Global Voices. Retrieved May 31, 2015. 
  29. ^"Step Forward – Earth Wins in 2009 Vote Earth / Earth Hour Campaign". Ecology Global Network. Retrieved May 31, 2015. 
Overview of Sydney during Earth Hour 2008
Italy, Verona, Arena with backlight on on square Bra, in the bottom Town Hall before Earth Hour 2013
Italy, Verona, Arena with backlight off on square Bra, in the bottom Town Hall during Earth Hour 2013

2011 Earth Hour Student Essay Winners

March 30, 2011

This year BELCO, Greenrock and Bermuda National Library, Youth Services, joined together to develop a new project for 2011 Earth Hour. The 2011 Earth Hour Student Essay Competition, for students ages 9-18, was introduced to help raise awareness amongst young people and to encourage research and writing.

They received 119 essays and the judges were: Thania Redman and Wendell Richards of BELCO; Jeane Nikolai and Nicola O’Leary from the Ministry of Environment Planning & Infrastructure Strategy, who are also Earth Hour Council members; and Marla Smith from the Bermuda National Library, Youth Services. The Essay Contest winners were announced during the 2011 Earth Hour celebration at City Hall on Saturday, 26 March:

AGE: 15 -18

  • 1st Place – Renee Greenslade — Renee attends St. Margaret’s School in Virginia; she has elected to donate the $250 school award to the Dame Marjorie Bean Hope Academy
  • 2nd Place Rory Ben Wilson – Warwick Academy
  • 3rd Place Tie: Charnae Richardson and Kamel Easton both of CedarBridge Academy

AGE: 12 -14

  • 1st Place: Elizabeth Emma Kook of Warwick Academy
  • 2nd Place Tie: Jair Duke and Sherrita Bailey both of CedarBridge Academy
  • 3rd Place Brandon Sousa – Mount Saint Agnes Academy

AGE: 9 – 11

  • 1st Place Nicholas Siese of Somerset Primary
  • 2nd Place Malini Romeo – Warwick Academy
  • 3rd Place Tie: Ezra Joel-West End Primary and Zakira White -Purvis Primary

Honourable Mention:

  • Peyton Caldoza – Bermuda High School for Girls
  • Melanie Soares-Chan – Warwick Academy
  • Sean Tucker – Warwick Academy

Prizes will be awarded during theEarth Hour ‘wrap-up’ news conference on Wednesday, 13 April at 11:30 am at the Youth Library on Reid Street. Each 1st Place winner wins $250 for his or her school to use on an environmental project.

The students’ prizes: the 1st Place winners will each receive an Amazon Kindle, as well as $50 and books on environmental topics. Each 2nd Place winner will receive $50 and books, and each 3rd Place winner will receive $25 and the books. The books selected by Marla Smith for the winners are: “Not Your Typical Book about the Environment”, “Operation Redwood” and “Carbon Capture 2015″.

Below is Warwick Academy’s Elizabeth Emma Kook’s essay, winner in the 12-14 age division:

I Can Make Bermuda’s Energy Future “Greener”

Bermuda has a huge problem with its carbon footprint – being the amount of carbon dioxide we (the people) each produce. This carbon gas, which is released into the atmosphere, involves every day things that we do – such as driving your car, to running your electricity. However, carbon dioxide is highly hazardous; it is what causes the earth to be warmed by insulating it – also known as ‘Global Warming’. Now, Bermuda’s carbon footprint is very large considering the amount of people situated here. We (the people of Bermuda) are contributing to the death of our planet. We must find a way to stop and reverse global warming… So how can I make Bermuda’s energy future ‘greener’?

I believe that, if Bermuda really is keen on reversing the amount of pollution and bringing an end to carbon admissions, the best and most effective way is to turn to sustainable uses of energy. By doing so, we are ending the use of fossil fuels – preventing global warming from growing any worse. Considering that Bermuda is a tropical island – we can use (pretty much) any form of greener energy – solar energy, wind energy, tidal or wave energy. This allows Bermuda to have a sustainable but yet effective source of energy.

However, if this sustainable step is a bit too big for Bermuda to handle, we could always fall to a smaller and easier – yet effective greener future. This future involving persuading (or demanding) residents to drive electric cars. In Bermuda, very few cars make it to 250,000 miles. This means that Bermuda is constantly importing, and manufacturing new cars to be bought, trashing used cars that were, in fact, perfectly fine – causing pollution to occur more and more. New cars create emissions in manufacturing and shipping, also in the disposal of the old car. If Bermuda introduced electric cars, we would stop the usage of fossil fuels. Bermuda could, also, introduce electric cars within the law – ‘All residents of Bermuda must drive an electric form of transport, no fueled cars allowed.’ On the other hand, if this is too big a jump, the best thing to do than, is to keep driving the same old car.

Another way to a greener future is through doing the little things – for it’s the little things that count. By little things, I mean turning the lights off when you leave the room, unplugging electronics that aren’t being used, using reusable bags or bottles. Just by following those few concepts, you are helping reduce the amount of carbon emissions that Bermuda is producing. It may not seem like much, but, if thousands of people decided to follow those same few guide lines – it soon begins to add up…

The carbon emission of Bermuda needs to be reduced or even reversed. In doing so we, the people of Bermuda, have to change our ways – either by installing solar panels, driving electric cars, or by just reusing the same water bottle every day, we just have to! Though, I am only a 14 year old girl, I cannot do it be myself – I need Bermuda’s support… However, it is, of course, your choice… help our planet, or stand there watching our planet crumble away.

Below is Somerset Primary’s Nicolas Siese’s essay, winner in the 9-11 age division:

The Power of One: I Can Make Bermuda’s Energy Future “Greener”.

Did you know that almost all of our electrical energy comes from fossil fuels being burned? This is a problem for three reasons. It makes carbon dioxide which is causing global warming. Fossil fuels will eventually be extinct. Finally, it puts pollutants in the air. Even though this is a big problem, if everyone did a little something it would mean a lot.

There are ways I can cut down on my use of fossil fuels, and also ways I can get energy from other sources. We have solar panels. They make our hot water with the power of sunlight. At our house there is also a lot of wind. Maybe I could get my parents to buy a small windmill and that could make energy.

I can make sure my house lights are off when I leave the room. This is important because when you use electricity, you are burning a fossil fuel. When you leave your house make sure all of your lights are off as it will decrease your carbon footprint. That means you are not using as much carbon, the main ingredient in fossil fuels.

I can also use energy efficient light-bulbs. They cost more but use less energy and last longer. The bad thing about them is that they cannot be recycled. Maybe one day I can invent an even better light-bulb!

I can cut down on my carbon footprint by riding my bike. If I have to go in a car, I should share my car with other people, or ride the bus or ferry. Maybe one day I can buy an electric car, which is better because I am not burning gasoline.

I am one person, but I can make a difference.

Below is Renee Greenslade’s essay, winner in the 15-18 age division:

“To waste, to destroy, our natural resources, to skin and exhaust the land instead of using it so as to increase its usefulness, will result in undermining in the days of our children the very prosperity which we ought by right to hand down to them amplified…” (Falls Church City Environment Web). The world today is becoming contaminated, and this effect is because of our society and people. The ozone layer is slowly becoming larger because of careless people and their ways. If we as one do not stop our negative ways, our descendents will not live in the same green world we do now. Contamination is seen everywhere, Bermuda is a small island, that has many beauties. If our ways do not stop, people to come will never be able to experience Bermuda like we all do now. Its glorious beaches will no longer exist, the tall, swaying palm trees and wild life will slowly become no more. Bermuda is known for its beauty, so today some ideas for a Greener Bermuda will help keep Bermuda the same for our children in the future.

The main energy source for Bermuda at this point in time is the Bermuda Electric Light Company. Although they provide power for the entire island, there are several ways to provide energy, without polluting the environment I will discuss several options the pros and cons of each option that can be used alone or in conjunctions with BELCO’s existing equipment.

Solar panels are usually made out of silicon, and this is to do with the element and its outer shell electrons. Silicon has four electrons, and in order for an element to be stable it needs eight electrons, so silicon must gain four to become stable. When the silicon reacts with other atoms, it produces negative and positive charges. When this occurs, electricity is the outcome. Solar panels do not require oil, or any other non-renewable resource. The solar panels use the sun to create its electricity, are quiet and renewable. Since they are costly, BELCO could use solar panels, in conjunction with the diesel engines, it would significantly reduce the carbon foot print.

Wind turbines harness the power of wind to turn the blades which in return spins the shaft of the generator to produces electricity. These could be set up in locations such as North Rock and/or along South Shore. Wind power is safe, unlimited and renewable and since wind is free, customers would not have to worry about the rising fuel prices. Since wind turbines can be noisy, interfere with radar, radio and television transmissions, finding a suitable location may be an issue on a small island. Wind is irregular so BELCO could use wind turbines in conjunction with the diesel engines.

Wave power harnesses the power of the ocean’s waves and uses that power to generate electricity. A buoy type device is placed in the open ocean and as each wave passes, the buoy rises and falls. With each rise and fall the generating device, generates power. The height of the waves, speed, length and the density of the water is a determining factor in the amount of power generated. There are three major problems with wave power. Construction of a device able to withstand the force of the waves, difficulty converting wave power into electricity and the cost of developing these devices to harness the power generated. This could be a practical option for BELCO in the future.

“Green Microgym” uses any piece of moving fitness equipment powered by humans to create energy. Just plug the equipment into a regular electric outlet and start adding electricity to the grid. There are several different equipment options to choose from the Dynamo Stationary, like a Bike, Spin Bikes and Elliptical Trainers. BELCO staff and family members could come and work out for free in return they would be assisting BELCO in generating additional power and reduce the carbon footprint. Employees and their families would also have a healthier lifestyle.

If Bermuda were to implement any of these renewable energy sources, it could significantly reduce the amount of pollution that is emitted into the air. BELCO as a good Corporate will be doing their part in saving the planet and reducing the amount of contamination. By working together we can make this world a better place for everyone.

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