A Confession of my Eco-Sins and Earth Hour

27 Mar

Every day, I take really long, really hot showers… and sometimes a bath, too.

I don’t always turn off the water when I brush my teeth.

Sometimes I don’t recycle things, if it’s more convenient to just throw them away.

I drive virtually everywhere. Sometimes just for fun.

All of this to say, I’m in no position to judge anyone else’s attempts to pick up my slack. But this Earth Hour stuff? It just doesn’t sit well with me. I like the spirit of it: One short hour to remind us, the Citizens of Earth, of the small things we should be doing to help protect our planet. Admittedly, I will be somewhat more cognizant of my environmental actions for the next little while, because Earth Hour has come along to make me think. But we’re what now, four or five years in to this annual reminder? Why have we not gone further yet?

Not to mention, I find it irritating, the sheer number of people who not only burn candles during Earth Hour, but promote it to others as something environmentally friendly to do when it’s not. If you google “earth hour” along with “candles,” you will be greeted with page after page of information regarding how candles are as bad or worse for the environment as lightbulbs. I’ll never forget the first go ’round of Earth Hour when a friend asked me if I participated. Quite frankly, I had not done anything out of the ordinary, having forgotten entirely that Earth Hour was even occurring. She, on the other hand, took a bubble bath by candlelight. A bubble bath by candlelight.

This, I suppose, is my inherent problem with Earth Hour… or not even with Earth Hour itself, I appreciate the spirit in which it’s intended. It’s the participants that bother me. One thing that Earth Hour makes me realize is that if we want to stand any chance of slowing down the damage we’ve been doing, we need to make sacrifices, not compromises. If you’re going to get on board with the idea of turning off all your lights and appliances for one hour tonight, you have to really get on board. You’ve said you think it’s a great idea to go without light for one hour this evening, well, sorry, but that means you have to go without light for one hour this evening. You don’t get to light up six candles and feel self-righteous, because if that’s what you’re doing, you’ve effectively done nothing at all.

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One Response to “A Confession of my Eco-Sins and Earth Hour”

  1. Devon March 28, 2010 at 2:17 am #

    If it makes you feel any better… i definitely just realised that its earth hour and i’m still using power. now, this is not to say that i would have turned off all my lights and everything because i am home alone and get nervous when i’m home alone in the dark and silence. that said, it is ‘earth hour’ and i have all the lights on, the tv is on (mute) while I watch gilmore girls on my computer… after just having a shower AND a bath (i cant have a bath unless i’ve had a shower first.) So basically, I did the opposite of earth hour!

    I’m a horrible person, and a polar bear died today because of ME! … turning off tv now…

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