This is my 4th year taking part in the Earth Hour, a global event aimed at raising awareness about sustainability issues.  This year, I have decided to write a daily post during the month leading to the event in order to share some thoughts about the environment and give tips the little changes we can make in our daily lives.  There will also be some guest posts by fellow bloggers who will share their own views on a topic related to the environment.  You can read my introductory post here and access the Earth Hour website here.

Funnily enough, after sharing thoughts and ideas with you for the past 28 days, I do not feel as excited about the Earth Hour as I was.  I feel that it is still an important event and I will take part, but more important things have been mentioned in the past 28 days.

Earth Hour is becoming a huge event and they are also trying to encourage people to go beyond the hour.  They have posted ideas and reactions everyday and, in my opinion, some of them have lost touch with what Earth Hour is about.  I don’t think that the person who is going to row across the ocean is going to make a huge difference; it is a brilliant symbolic action, but not a practical one.  As often with events that get too big, I start to lose connection.  This does not mean that I don’t believe in what I have said, but I just tend to get overwhelmed when events get such mediatic coverage.  On the one hand, I want to cheer because it seems to touch more people, but on the other I feel wary because it seems to be losing some of its ethics through mediatisation.

As I have said at the beginning of this series, I like to work on a small scale.  Of course I would like to see the big picture change, but I have no power whatsoever to do so, not directly anyway.  I’m just glad if my posts have made you think and have touched a few people who will in turn touch more people.  I know that for me, it has made a difference: I have thought even further about what I can do in my daily life and I have reflected on issues I hadn’t necessarily thought about before.

We will never live in a perfect world, let’s be realistic about this.  Yet, I don’t want to give up on hoping and believing that we can make a difference, because if I do there is no point in living anymore.  I just hope that we can make some changes that will mean leaving a better planet for the generations to come.

I want to keep believing in this!  Therefore, I will keep making conscious decisions.

One of the drawbacks of such an event is that people believe that by turning the lights for an hour they actually make a difference to our environment.  Others might do it just to have a good conscience.  As I have said before, I think Earth Hour is a symbolic action, one through which we become aware and we say “I want to make a difference”.  However, it is by no means sufficient and it needs indeed to go beyond the hour, as the organisation is now emphasising.  It is like people who say they are green because it is cool, but would not bother to recycle; this really gets me down.  Being eco-friendly should not even be a word, it should be our regular way of living and we should not think of it as anything special. 

I have realised that there will be very few switches I will need to turn off this evening.  When I did it the first time, I went around the place a few times to make sure I had turned off everything.  However, this has become such a habit that I will only need to switch off the fridge, my computer and the light in the room where I am.  It does not feel as drastic and will thus feel more or less like a regular evening.  I will make the fire and light a few candles.  I will read a book, or maybe write down a few thoughts or, even better, a letter.  It has been a long time I haven’t written one of those…

What are you planning to do for Earth Hour?