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Earth Hour Tonight: Turn Off the Lights and Reflect

March 26, 2011

I hope you’ll join me to celebrate Earth Hour tonight. It doesn’t require much from you at all. Sit tight and hear me out.

At 8:30 tonight, millions of people around the world will be shutting off their lights as a part of this year’s Earth Hour celebration.

It’s a beautiful moment to pause and reflect on the sort of changes we can make in our personal lives to better our health and our planet’s. It isn’t just about the community and political organizing we do, like the Central Park work party we New Yorkers organized this past Fall for 350.org’s Climate Change Day, it’s about the simple ways we can spur change.

Tonight, we can start with turning off our lights and powering down for one hour, and we can use this time to examine our own lives and how we each can go “beyond the hour” (this year’s Earth Hour theme) and commit to making other changes in our personal lives. Why not walk or bike more? How about curbing your water consumption? Almost 1 billion people don’t have access to clean, safe drinking water. That’s one in eight of us. And with millions of people starving around our world due to the food crisis, would it kill you to try to buy more locally sourced food? This week I learned that import-reliant countries such as Africa, spend up to 80 percent of their household income on food. Americans on average spend approximately 10 percent of our household income on food. (A HUGE issue which will I’ll address here soon.) So why not plan to start your own vegetable garden this Spring? If space is tight, use containers.

Lights out for the Empire State Building!

But let’s be real. We all know that these changes alone won’t get us to 350ppm. But, they’ll help and it’s an important part of the work we need to do.

I hope it’s “lights out” for you at 8:30 tonight! But more importantly, I hope you’ll think of even just one way you can go beyond the hour. And I’d love to hear what you decide to do! Feel free to email me, comment here, tweet, etc. I’ll pull all of your responses together for an upcoming post!

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