Earth Hour 2012 is coming up on March 31st. Earth Hour is a global event conceived by the WWF to raise awareness of climate change and the need to make more sustainable choices. Those who take part switch off all non-essential lights and appliances for one hour on that day between 8.30 and 9.30pm.
Lighting candles and sitting round the kitchen table chatting with family and friends, instead of watching TV or playing on computers or phones, can be an enjoyable and relaxing way of spending a Saturday evening. It also makes us realise quite how much electricity we use on an average evening without even thinking about it. Once you’ve toured the house switching off lights and lamps, computers, TVs, stereos, dishwashers and all the rest, you are left with just the glow of a candle or lantern and perhaps the hum of the fridge…it’s only the non-essentials we’re switching off after all.
Moving another step forward towards eco-friendly habits might be to use solar lanterns instead of candles for your illumination during Earth Hour. It was pointed out recently by a true environmental crusader that your average candle emits just as much pollution into the atmosphere as the equivalent electricity for a light bulb, so that burning candles all evening isn’t really doing anything to help the environment however romantic the idea. So unless you have a wonderful supply of natural beeswax or soy oil candles, consider getting a few solar lamps for Earth hour and they will stand you in good stead all year round, providing a safe and clean light source in case of power outage and lovely mood lighting at any time of the year.
Solar lanterns are becoming stylish and innovative – check out these South African solar jars made from Consol canning jars which have been featured in Elle Deco and several other style mags since their launch in January 2012. Or these are the original sun jars designed by Tobias Wong. Or make your own sun jar from Mason jars and solar lids. Get ready for Earth Hour now and saving electricity can become a habit that will really make a difference.