In today’s day and age where electricity has become such a vital part of society, it becomes hard to even conceive a world without it.
Efforts are made day in and day out at power plants so as to avoid power cuts from occurring even for the slightest of moments.
It is perhaps due to this seemingly unending supply of electricity and power that society has now begun to take its availability for granted, not realizing what day-to-day life would be like without electricity.
In light of this, Earth Hour was born as an event designed to raise awareness regarding climate changes, power conservation and global sustainability.
The event entails switching off the lights and other pieces of technology for a period of 1 hour around the globe.
Initially organized by World Wide Fund (WWF) at Sydney, Australia, in 2007, the event has since then spread globally, impacting the lives and minds of many.
Earth Hour was and has been held on the last Saturday of March. This year the event fell on March 26.
Participation among students across campus was on and off. And so were their thoughts regarding Earth Hour.
However, seeing as how this day coincided with the end of the spring break at Tech, most participation could have been seen outside of campus.
Many students felt that Earth Hour was a wonderful idea which helped spread awareness among people. They also felt that participation is a very vital part of the event in order to make it a success.
“I have heard of Earth Hour from several places online like YouTube and participated a few times before. I thought it was a good idea to save energy, and I felt it had a good message behind it. It gets everyone to think about the energy they use and encourages people to not just turn off their energy for an hour, once a year, but to also be more aware of the energy they use on a day-to-day basis,” said Kimberly Capella, a second-year BCHM major.
“I remember my teacher in high school asking us to participate in it. I only participated that one year though. But the statistics that my teacher provided were so drastic that I thought I should participate and do my part. The idea is very clever and sensible. The difference done by this one hour speaks for itself. So I definitely feel that it should be continued,” said Chaitanya Donthini, a second year EE major.
Some students feel, however, that the impact would be more spread out and effective if the event underwent some changes and improvements, both in scale and design, so as to help the cause.
“I remember hearing about it from either Facebook or TV. I myself didn’t participate in it. I feel that an hour alone isn’t sufficient but I do feel if enough people could do it, it’d be worthwhile.” said Stanley Chu, a second year ChBE major, of the lack of global publicity for Earth Hour.
“I liked the symbolism but I didn’t care enough to participate. I see saving energy as part of daily life and doing it just for an hour to me is pointless. It raises awareness, but it’s not practical without substantial investment in advertising ways to save energy in everyday life.” said Shing-Shing Ge, a third-year MGT major to note both sides of Earth Hour’s impacts on society.
“I initially learned about Earth Hour through CNN. It doesn’t really affect actual power usage in a significant way. Rather it’s more of an awareness push. I didn’t participate in the event, but I think it’s a good effort. However it’s not enough for someone to think they’ve done all they can by participating,” said Nick Phillip Demorest, a second-year AE major.
At its current pace and fifth run, Earth Hour has already shown widespread effect and has been able to reach out to quite the huge sum of people.
Whether or not a positive impact has been made by events similar to Earth Hour is something society will have to wait to evaluate in the immediate and distant future.
However, if this trend does follow toward the near future, along with various other environmental suggestions made, Earth Hour has the makings of a progressive and impactful event.
“I knew about Earth Hour from awareness programs back in high school. I did in fact participate during Earth Hour because I feel it is an actual productive cause that raises positive awareness to environmental issues. It’s extremely good, I think, and that it’s something more people should know about,” said Siddharth Tata, a first-year IE major.