Note to Self, Buy Candles for 2009…

So, a couple of weeks ago, the Better World Books list servs were on fire with reminders about Earth Hour (If you haven’t heard of it, Earth Hour started in Australia in 2007. 2.2 million people and 2100 businesses in Sydney decreased the town’s energy usage by 10.2% by turning off non-essential lights for one hour).

I was revved for the newest of alternative holidays and had a bunch of folks were over to enjoy a nice candlelit dinner between 8-9, central time.  I turned out every light, unplugged each appliance, followed the instructions to a T.  I even unplugged things like unused phone chargers – no energy seepage allowed.  Once the house was dark and we were ready to go, it turned out that in my whole house – seriously the whole house — there was only one candle.  Oops…  So, our candlelit dinner was the darkest candlelit dinner of my life.  Dark like “How far is the fork from my mouth?” dark.  Next year, I will have enough candles that folks walking past will think there is a raging fire inside my house.

Our participation stemmed from all the e-mails that circulated here at Better World Books (word of mouth is always the best form of promotion).  That got me wondering how many other folks participated this year.  I can’t find any real estimates of bodies involved, but I do know (from Earth Hour’s website) that in 2008, 38 countries participated in Earth Hour!

Among these were both Canada and the US, and get this: 146 cities in 12 of the 13 Canadian provinces participated!  This then made me realize that since the Rocky Mountain Region was expanded to include Canada, I’ve communicated with so many generous, globally conscious students and bookstores that of course Canada would have rockstar representation.

So, my point: If Sydney can reduce energy usage by 10.2% in one hour, imagine the awesome results of having 38 countries involved!  Imagine the results of just the 146 cities in Canada!

There are 1000s of easy ways to help keep our planet green, but Earth Hour is a crazy easy way to support a greener globe. So, spread the word to your friends and family that Earth Hour 2009 starts at 8 p.m. local time in roughly 356 days.  While spreading the word, remind your loved-ones to buy some candles.

The Earth Hour website highlights some energy saving tips for your home/school/work life — but our purchasing habits are another great place to make a difference!  All the books you buy from are shipped to you carbon neutral and most of them are used; so buy a book, save some trees, reduce some carbon outputs – hooray!

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