Earth Hour 2015: Did You Turn The Lights Off?
As early this year, several advocacy groups from both governmental and non-governmental organizations initiated and encouraged people worldwide to take part in the global action to prevent environmental degradation and its adverse impact on our planet Earth. These groups hold yearly celebrations both at the local and international level to inspire worldwide awareness and appreciation of environmental issues. There are two important related events being celebrated this year: one is the Earth Day 2015 which is celebrated next month and another is the World Environment Day , being spearheaded by the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP), scheduled on the 5th of June. The latter event serves as the people’s day for doing something positive for the environment such as tree planting, school essays and competitions, street rallies/clean ups, recycling drives, bicycle parades and the like. This year’s theme is “Greening the Blue”.
Yesterday (28th March), the so-called Earth Hour under the auspices of the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) complemented and kicked-off the said two forthcoming events. Several groups succeeded its mission calling all individuals, families and business communties throughout the world to stand up and get involve by turning off their lights for an hour with the end goal of having a sustainable future specifically to fight against climate change. Everyone noc-turn(ed)-al the lights off in response to the said global call from people in Antarctica and would you believe even to the International Space Station!
In the Philipines, the WWF-Philippines organizers invited participants to a glow-in-the-dark face paintings by Island Souvenirs, followed by a Zumba dance session, which was considered by some to be the biggest Zumba event in the world!
Earth Day was first launched in the 70’s in the U.S. (while Earth Hour in 2007) basically calling all the people worldwide to be mindful of the protection and conservation of our planet Earth and its environment.
As inhabitants of this world, it is our utmost responsibility to contribute in the humblest way we can to make our planet Earth clean and healthy! Why are we still being reminded about caring the place where we live and its environment? Obviously, we have one Earth which is our home – this is where we live, eat, breathe, raise and enjoy the company with our loved ones. IT MAKES SENSE, right? If children in the lower/primary and middle schools are being taught on these issues, how much more for grown ups! If we care and love this place, its next generations, your children’s children, we should have the heart to be actively involved even in the little things.
You may say, oh well, there are high profile organizations like the UN and its affiliates actively handling these matters. But the UN and other groups can only do so much at their level. The initiative should come from us, ordinary citizens, who comprise by the way, the bulk of the pie. We have a vital role to play, we are the major stakeholders, and as such our contributions are deemed important.
I’m far from being an avid green activist, but as being part of this world, I shall be giving you some useful tips in my next blog on how to save our planet and its environs.
Note that based on on UNEP’s yearbook, there are cumulative effects of the degradation of the ecosystems, the overexploitation of natural resources, cost of climate change, and the economic and human loss because of conflicts and disasters. Another effect as espoused in another report is the endangerment of the lives of certain plants and animals mainly due to forest reduction, pollution and hunting activities. As technology improves, the more the problem on pollution would be hard to resolve. Those of us living in the metropolis can attest that pollution has become a problematic area to handle with. Some of us may be aware that there are some industrial companies which may be guilty in releasing dangerous levels of chemicals, oil, garbage, and sewage into the atmosphere, not to mention littering and landfills. All these keep polluting the land, oceans, rivers and seas and if not eradicated and prevented, we might all end up extinct!
The above-featured photo only showed that the Houses of Parliament and the famous Big Ben did turn its lights off! Did you?