“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.” – Margaret Mead
This is perhaps one of my favorite quotes. I find it to be inspiring and powerful. Just when a person may feel like giving up, dropping out or stopping the push forward, if only he would just think this one thought – it might give him the strength to go on.
This Saturday, at 8:30 p.m. local time, the World Wildlife Fund has declared “Earth Hour.” The group is imploring people around the globe to turn off their lights for one hour. By turning off your lights for these 60 minutes, you will send a message that you stand with all the Americans and millions of people around the world who have taken the pledge that you care about sharing the opportunities and challenges of creating a sustainable world.
This is not happening in just our little corner of the world. In 2012, more than 2.2 million people on seven continents with more than 152 countries, 7,000 cities and 2,000 businesses pledged to switch off their lights for Earth Hour. Participate, and you will be in solidarity with millions of people around the world.
According to www.EarthHour.org, in 2013, for the first time, Moscow’s Kremlin and the whole Red Square complex, including St. Basil’s Cathedral, Historical Museum and the famous GUM-mall, were switched off for Earth Hour. In Argentina, Earth Hour was used to mobilize thousands of participants to help pass a bill to make “Banco Burdwood” the biggest marine protected area in the country. The 3.4 million-hectare area has raised the level of protection of Argentina’s exclusive economic zone from 1 percent to 4 percent.
Earth Hour encourages individuals, schools, Scout groups, organizations, businesses and whole cities to sign up and participate. Imagine if every household took the pledge.
You can make this Saturday night an important and fun event for the whole family. Eat dinner by candlelight, then keep those candles lit and tell stories to each other about your fond memories. Who knows? This may turn out to be a weekly event. Every Saturday night, turn out the lights. Could be the best thing that has happened in a long time!
One person committed to reducing energy consumption can make a difference, but millions working together can change the world. Don’t forget, set the alarm for 8:30 p.m. Going black will be GREEN!
Lynn Youngblood is the executive director of the Blue River Watershed Association in Kansas City, a residential energy client service coordinator certified by the National Energy Retrofit Institute, and a past nature center manager with the Missouri Department of Conservation. Reach her at TheGreenSpace@sbcglobal.net.