Sunday, March 28, 2010

Be A Good Slave, Turn Your Lights Off for Earth Hour

What single event will unite 3,500 cities, towns, and municipalities in 125 countries and regions -- along with at least 80 million Americans? What worldwide action is hugely symbolic yet so simple, even a child can participate?

It's Earth Hour, and it happens for the fourth time on Saturday, March 27, 2010, starting at 8:30 p.m. local time. Just turn off the lights, and you're in.

So use this hour in the dark to plan what you're really going to do to help the planet. There are lots of things that take less than one hour but add up to a lot of conservation.

For example, you could start doing any of these things:

•Turn off lights when you leave a room for 15 minutes or longer.
•Drink tap water instead of bottled water.
•Put your computer in power-save mode.
•Turn off video game consoles when not in use.
•Seal air leaks, adjust your water heater, and control your thermostat to lower energy usage and waste.
•Go meatless on Mondays.
•Watch out for energy vampires around the house and unplug the biggies.
•Swap out all your light bulbs for CFLs.
•Stop catalogs and junk mail from piling up in your mailbox.
•Reduce the brightness of your TV set to the "home" mode.
•Use up leftovers, compost, and avoid wasting food.
•Find out how walkable your hometown is and try walking to your weekend errands.
•Fix a leaky faucet or toilet.
•Use the low-water and low-heat settings on your dishwasher, and don't pre-rinse dishes.
•Hang your clothes to dry on a clothesline in spring and summer.
•Take public transit to work or school.
•Install dimmer switches on your lights and plug appliances into smart power switches.

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