Earth Hour is actually a pretty good idea. It gives people a visible way to express their concern for the environment. As we are such social creatures, it spread from Sidney, Australia, all around the world and has become a huge world-wide event. It represents a wonderful opportunity for generating impetus to make positive change and elegantly demonstrates that many small changes really add up to make a difference.
However - the experience will only make a difference if we use it as an opportunity to make real changes in our daily lives. We mustn't get so involved in the moment -- the hour -- that we look out in the darkness and see our collective accomplishment as the goal. It is a demonstration.
Let's use Earth Hour as an opportunity to make a permanent change that lowers our footprint on the Earth. Things that you do every day or every week have the most impact. For example, in the Café, we just changed our sandwich bread from a high quality conventional bread to a certified organic bread (we already use certified organic meat, eggs, dairy and veggies). So there are fewer chemicals and pesticides going into the environment and more farmers are being rewarded for employing sustainable methods. This is a small change, but a positive one - we make sandwiches every day and the increased cost is relatively small.
So what can you do? Look for things you do often and make the change there for to have the greatest impact. We eat food every day so you can:
- Switch some of your regular purchases to organic products rather than conventional ones,
- If you eat meat, eliminate it one day a week and switch some to certified organic,
- Use local farmer's markets,
- Reduce your dependence on processed foods,
- And of course, our favourite, switch your coffee to Certified Bird Friendly, Organic and join us in preserving essential migratory songbird habitat.
So let's turn out the lights tonight and let us know what you will do to make Earth Hour last forever.