Switch off, turn to a better life

Earth Hour

It’s not just about switching off for an hour. Earth Hour – the massive global lights-out event to save electrical energy - comes with a larger message this time.

World Wide Fund (WWF), the founder organisation of Earth Hour movement, has themed it ‘Switch off and make the switch to renewable energy’ this year. WWF, across the globe, is encouraging individuals, business organisations and governments to replace use of environment-damaging non-renewable energy with renewable forms.

Originating in Sydney, Australia, in 2007, the movement has travelled to more than 7,000 cities and towns worldwide. In India alone, over 50 lakh Indians across 56 cities have showed their support by switching off non-essential lights and saving approximately 1,000 MW of power in one hour. Last year, Rashtrapati Bhavan and the Prime Minister’s residence also expressed solidarity with the movement by plugging-out.

“This time we want to take it a step forward,” says Rituparna Sengupta, campaign leader, WWF (India), “We want to persuade people to tap free and inexhaustible sources of power like wind and solar energy. Several appliances which make use of these are available in the market today and yet,
people are apprehensive of adopting them.”

“We are holding workshops for large organisations to show them how they can switch over to renewable sources of power. Moreover, even on our website, we are providing a list of vendors across Indian metropolises from where you can purchase the requisite appliances. We are holding an ambitious Earth Hour School Challenge involving 15,000 schools.

At the end of the year, the school that saves maximum conventional electricity
will be awarded.”

WWF has also come up with two mobile applications: One that will measure ambient light in a room and recommend if some lights can be switched off; and another that will help build cycling communities as an effective way of commuting. Himanshu Thakkar, coordinator of South Asia Network on Dams, Rivers and People, says it’s a great initiative to raise awareness on the direct link between electricity consumption and destruction of rivers.

“The lesser hydroelectricity we use, better it is for our rivers. Dams meant for hydroelectricity and thermal power projects are the biggest threat to rivers today.”
On the D-Day, March 29, at 7.15 pm, catch an awareness event being organised by WWF(I) at Dilli Haat. Bands Faridkot and World of Talent will spread the word on
energy conservation through their music.

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