Forgive me, Mother Earth, for I have sinned.
From 8:30 to 9:30 PM on the 28th of March, 2009, while countless other people in the same time zone as me switched off their lights to show their support in the fight against Climate Change, most of the lights in my own home were brightly lit.
My parents were enjoying a healthful dinner.
My brother was, as always, glued to the computer screen, playing games.
I, on the other hand, had decided to shut off my laptop, turn off my study lamp, retreat to my bedroom, shut off the light, and listen to music on my iPhone.
That was my Earth Hour. Far from the pitch black of other people’s homes.
I know there were many people who did switch off their bedroom lights—maybe even the lights throughout their homes—last night, but in their daily lives neglect the issue of Global Warming.
I’m proud to say that I try my best to fight Climate Change every day in every little way I can.
I may not have turned off all of my house’s lights tonight, but I’m still crusading against Climate Change.
Still, to my children, and my children’s children, and to my grandchildren’s grandchildren, accept my apologies. On the night of March 28th, 2009, between 8:30 and 9:30 PM, I lacked the guts to even make my entire house go pitch black. Switching off my lights for 3,600 seconds was all I had to do to prove that I cared for you, but I couldn’t do even that.
Accept my apologies, too, on behalf of the people who may have shut down every electronic device they had and dimmed or turned off all of their lights, but who still leave trash on the sidewalk and use smokebelching vehicles everyday.
The point of all this rambling is this: 8:30 to 9:30 PM on March 28, 2009 was Earth Hour, when people were encouraged to dim or turn off their lights as their vote for Mother Earth.
RJ Marmol put it best: this wasn’t an effort to save electricity, it was an effort to save Mother Earth.
And the effort to save Mother Earth doesn’t comprise entirely of flipping your lights off for one hour on just one day of the year. The effort to save Mother Earth is an unending process that needs as much participation as it can get—not just for one night, but for every day of our lives.
If you participated in Earth Hour—whether you participated by cutting off power to your entire house or just by shutting down your workstation—you have my deepest gratitude. But please, let every hour of our lives be Earth Hour, and every day be a day for the Earth.
Pick up that piece of paper on the curb.
Don’t toss that plastic bag anywhere but a garbage bin.
Tell your friend to stop using that gas-guzzling, smoke-belching SUV of his.
Ask your office management to cut down on electricity costs.
Flipping off your light switch is a start, but it isn’t enough.
Think about it this way: when you turned off your lights during Earth Hour last night, you ignited your Climate Change fighting-engine. Don’t ever let that lose power.
My house may not have gone pitch black on the night of March 28.
But because I care for the generations that will follow—because I know they’re counting on us to make their world livable—because I know that their lives will depend on what we do or don’t do today—I strive to make every hour of my life an hour for Earth.
I hope you do the same.
[Photo credits: Hyperscholar]