Celebrate Earth Hour in Haarlem.

Recently I had a chance to observe the day of silence on Bali. Local people didn’t leave their houses, didn’t speak, switched off the TV and didn’t use mobile phones for the entire day. Later they started to play with fire, but I’d like to concentrate on the vibration of the silence that was easily felt in the air. I think that was the voice of nature, saying “Thank you” to the local people, who knew how to value what was given to them.

At the 30th of March from 8:30 pm till 9:30 pm local time, people around the globe also will be switching off all the electronic devices and celebrating Earth Hour. The movement was organised by World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), which started in 2007 in Sydney. Today it involves about 100 countries and millions of people. This is a symbolic move that won’t save the Earth’s energy, but it will show the awareness of the environmental problems. Today we use 1.6 as many resources as our planet gives us. By 2050 the number increases up to 2.5 and the sources of the earth will be irreversible. We think, those are the problems of future generations, but the reality is happening now, and if the problem is not that obvious, it doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist.

Why should you care about the condition of the planet?

Every two seconds the world loses an area of forest the size of a football field. By 2050 there will be more plastic in the ocean than fish. Less than 1000 of Rhinoceros, White Whale Sharks, Two-Humped Camels, Amur Tigers, Elephants, Western Gorillas, Pandas and many more other animals will be left on the planet. It happens because of global warming, environmental degradation, illegal (tropical) deforestation, forest fires, droughts, urbanisation and poaching.  By participating in the Earth Hour, you are showing that you are aware of these problems and against it.

Nature provides vital resources to every species: air to breathe, food to eat and water to drink, a home to live and small steps make a big difference. Become environmentally conscious and do everything within your power: do laundry at 30 degrees, sort garbage, unplug unnecessary devices, control the temperature in the house, do not use plastic bags, throw batteries in designated bins and use the train instead of the car if possible. These are small things everyone can easily do to respect nature. Switching off the electricity for one hour and participating in Earth Hour is one of them.

If you worry about how to spend Earth Hour without electricity, here are some tips:

– Talk to people you love. Do you actually remember when the last time you had a proper deep conversation with your kids or spouse? No? Now’s the chance.

– Play board games, we prefer Imaginarium so everyone, regardless of age, can play.

– Go for a walk and notice the stars which usually are shaded by the city lights.

– Organise a special event for your friends and family to raise the issue of the condition of the planet.

How to participate in Earth Hour in Haarlem?

This year Haarlem is actively participating in Earth Hour. Supported by WWF, all comers will be creating a huge candle in the shape of a globe at the Grote Markt at the 30th of March. The symbol of the burning candle represents our planet and its resources are slowly fading away. The candle will be made from the recycled candle wax, provided by HEMA.

If you want to become a member of the movement and create a WWF candle at the Grote Markt this year, register here to participate in Earth Hour in Haarlem and follow the instructions you’ll receive in your mailbox or stay at home and switch all the electronic devices from 8:30 pm till 9:30 pm, it’s totally up to you. The important thing is to take action and do at least something to change the global situation. You might even share this article to involve in the Earth Hour movement as many people as possible, you might also write an article about it, you might become a volunteer at WWF. Just do not sit on your hands, act today, act now. We have only one planet to live, and it’s our responsibility to support its vital processes.

Anna Bilenka