On Saturday, March 28, 2015, from 8:30-9:30 p.m. in your local time, people around the world will turn off the lights and navigate by star and candlelight to raise awareness about climate change. Ban Ki-Moon, the U.N. Secretary General, describes Earth Hour's importance, saying, "Earth Hour is a way for the citizens of the world to send a clear message that they want action on climate change."
The best way to make Earth Hour last beyond Saturday is to apply one simple rule of thumb: Use Less of Everything. Jettison the waste hidden in your daily routine. This is great for you personally and for our planet.
Use Less of Everything (and Have More Money For the Things You Love)
1. Housing. Who really needs a McMansion? Unless you're the king on the hill entertaining leaders from another country, heating and cooling cavernous empty spaces is very hard on your wallet and humanity. If you were mining the coal, storing the spent nuclear fuel rod or fracking the gas yourself -- instead of flipping a switch - you'd definitely be more mindful. 86 percent of the power we use comes nuclear and fossil fuel sources. Downsize.
2. Water. Drought-resistant plants and xeriscaping are beautiful, easy and appropriate for the Southern California climate. Let the water flow to the farmers!
3. Electricity. Smart choices can result in savings of up to 90 percent on your electric bill. Insulate. Don't heat or cool your home, or your water, when you're not there. Adjust the thermostat when you leave, and put a timer on the water heater. Power down all electric devices and unplug your phone/computer charger when not in use.
4. LED Lighting. Going from incandescent to LED means a savings of 74 watts per bulb. LED bulbs offer up to 80 percent savings on your lighting costs.
5. Gasoline. America's oil addiction is staggering. We suck up almost 9 million barrels every single day. Over $2000 per household was spent on oil and gas last year. Bike to work, anyone?
6. Organic Food. Your body craves nutrients, not calories. Kick the junk food addiction and spend less money on health care, which amounts to almost $3 trillion every year in the U.S.
Go to EarthHour.org to learn how citizens around the world will celebrate Earth Hour. Use the hash tag #YourPower to share your own sustainable story. Follow this blog to discover more green tips and sustainable strategies from leaders around the globe.