Millions of people across the globe shut off their electronics last night in celebration of Earth Hour. How do I know? Well, they shared photos of their eco-friendly action on Twitter.
— Mahmoud Nasser (@itsmahmoud_ns) March 29, 2014
The World Wide Fund for Nature encouraged people (they even enlisted the help of Spider-Man) to turn off their lights at 8:30 pm on Saturday, March 29. The wave of darkness has been slowly crawling across the world (in an hour the people of South Africa will turn off their lights) and will reach the United States later tonight.
And as the darkness spreads, people took to Twitter to share photos of their experience without light. Like this guy, who went the “extra mile” by turning off his phone.
— Alan Samuels (@alanpayments) March 29, 2014
Sure, he didn’t turn off his iPad or his camera but apparently those things don’t require power.
— Nando's Malaysia (@NandosMY) March 29, 2014
— Roslyn Wells (@RoslynWells) March 29, 2014
It might seem a little counter intuitive to use social media during Earth Hour but really, these people should all be congratulated for their efforts. After all, when a person turns off the lights on Earth Hour and no one is around to see it, does it really help the planet?
Now, I’m not knocking earth hour. It’s a great campaign that raises awareness about the environment. But that’s about all it does. Cutting the power for an hour, even when it involves million people, is seen by many as a fruitless exercise. Some even say that it hurts the environment more than it helps.
Forbes writes: “Electrical engineers also know that when an appliance is first turned on, there is a higher current needed at the start as opposed to what is needed when the appliance is already operating … In effect, the end of Earth Hour is actually more detrimental to climate mitigation because simultaneously turning on so much equipment all at once creates a surge current that results in a sudden spike in power demand.”
Others argue that candles emit more C02 than light bulbs which counteracts the intended effect of Earth Hour.
But that doesn’t mean that this environmental exercise is pointless. In fact, you could argue that the people above are the ones who truly understand what today is all about. They are spreading the message. They are taking the time to think about their impact on the earth. Their actions may not save the world on their own but they are encouraging people to live a little smarter.
So keep it up, Twitter users. Turn your lights off for #EarthHour tonight but make sure to leave your computer, camera, iPad, and phone on so that you can spread the message about how we should be saving power.