CO-Horts

CO-Horts

Thursday, March 22, 2018

Conservation: Earth Hour






Earth Hour Banner-Photo Credit: Social Media Covers

Imagine turning your lights off for one hour.  And how about the hour after that or for an hour each night or every time you leave a room?  Even more amazing is when 120 million people around the world, turn their lights off to raise awareness about climate change.  For one hour, we are on the same page, but not all at the same time.  It’s the thought that counts toward climate change because it gets everyone thinking deeper. 

On March 24, 2018 at 8:30 P.M. I hope you will join in Earth Hour and turn your lights off for one hour?  For one hour think of the substantial energy reduction not being produced by 120 million people around the world.  The main goal of World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) back in 2007 was for people to show their support for climate change.  It started in Sidney, Australia when 2.2 million people participated in turning their lights off, to raise awareness of climate change.  Since 2007 Earth Hour increased from one city to 88 cities in 2009 and in 2017, 187 countries and territories turned their lights off, including 12,000 landmarks and monuments.  From turning the lights off, to turning an awareness on about climate change and how to better conserve our resources.

At a grassroots level, this is your opportunity as an individual to make a positive impact on the planet we all call Home.  The goal of WWF is to achieve 100% renewable energy by 2050.  One small act towards conserving energy every day, makes a big difference to climate change.  According to scientists, we currently have the highest amount of CO2 in the atmosphere in over 800,000 years.  This is driven by the use of fossil fuels. Unfortunately, according to WWF human activity is the main driver of the unprecedented levels of biodiversity loss which impacts our forests, oceans and ecosystems that are the planet’s first line of defense against threats like climate change.  On a positive note, teams in Brazil, Ukraine and Japan are raising awareness about biodiversity and getting public support for action to protect biodiversity. 

In 2017, China, Finland and Colombia used the Earth Hour platform to raise awareness and inspire more people to make sustainable choices.  That alone is positive impact.  From the food you eat, to the clothes you wear, to the car you drive, to the shelter you chose, think about how you can reduce your energy footprint.  Do you carpool to work?  Do you recycle?  Have you stopped using plastic bags and styrofoam cups?  Do you turn the lights out when you leave a room? 

One thing I do is recycle what I can from a fast food restaurant that I frequent. (The restaurant will remain unnamed. They offer healthy food choices there.)  If you save your cup, they give refills.  I not only save on the cost of a refill, but I use the cup over and over. 


Here are some other small things you can do to help make a positive impact on our planet:

1)      Purchase products with a recycled content such as kitchen towels, toilet paper, napkins and handkerchiefs.
2)      Look for the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) label on timber products such as garden chairs, paper and envelopes. 
3)      Purchase energy-efficient appliances and equipment including office equipment.
4)      Purchase biodegradable cleaning products. 
5)      Purchase cloth bags for groceries.  Less packaging reduces waste in landfills.  This is a reduction of about 10% for each of us and cuts down on methane gas – a greenhouse gas that contributes to global warming.  Of course, buying local and fresh food whenever also helps.
6)      Planting natives is a solution to conserving water, stopping the use of pesticides and fertilizers.  Colorado State University has a program called Native Plant Master® Program.  Visit the website to learn more about it http://conativeplantmaster.org.
7)      Pollinator Highway learn more about that at this link: http://athomecolorado.com/buzz-colorado-pollinator-highway/ .   Some of you may remember Lady Bird Johnson’s Scenic Byways Initiative were more focused on the Beautification Act in the late 1960’s.  However, it ended up achieving some of the same goals as the Pollinator Highway.  One of those is a reduction in mowing.  Tensions were high back then and her thoughts were along bringing beauty to the highway medians in part to reduce stress.  Wildflowers and the natural world meant so much to her that she started the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center in Austin, Texas.


These are just a few tips that you can do daily along with improving your landscape.  Go to https://www.earthhour.org/  I challenge you to join in Earth Hour this year and beyond.  I will, Linda Langelo, CSU Horticulture Program Associate.  



 Photo Credit: Wikipedia

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