Greener Pastures: Lights out, Eagle County
EAGLE COUNTY, Colorado This Saturday, think of your light switch as a bullhorn. As you turn your lights off, you are turning your bullhorn on, announcing loud and clear that you are committed to finding solutions to climate change.Calling it Earth Hour, the World Wildlife Fund is asking individuals, businesses and governments around the world to turn off their lights Saturday from 8:30-9:30 p.m. local time to make a global statement of concern about climate change. By shutting off your lights, you are sending a powerful visual symbol to political leaders to take immediate action in the fight against climate change.Last year during Earth Hour 2008, more than 50 million people in more than 400 cities around the world turned off their lights. In 2009, nearly 2,500 cities in more than 82 countries (and counting) have already signed on to shut off. Some of the greatest monuments of the ancient world will shut off their lights, like the Acropolis of Athens and the Sphinx and the Great Pyramids of Giza. Even in the City of Light, Paris, the Eiffel Tower and the Cathedral of Notre Dame will go dark. The London Eye, Europes biggest ferris wheel, will shut. Niagara Falls? Black, too.On the home front, many prominent American icons will blink off. Vegas may be the most dramatic place to be during Earth Hour, as the Luxor Las Vegas hotel (its beam seen from space) shuts lights off, along with Caesars Palace, the Stratosphere Las Vegas Hotel and Casino and probably most notable the Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas sign. Sorry to those Vegas virgins driving in at that particular moment.In San Francisco, the Golden Gate Bridge will dim. In Chicago, Sears Tower, Navy Pier and the John Hancock Building will blacken. The Empire State and Chrysler buildings in New York will go lights out. The 26 glass pylons landmark and large LAX sign that welcome travelers to Los Angeles International Airport will light solid green for 60 minutes before Earth Hour and then will turn off completely for the event.So now that you have your glow-in-the-dark socks queued up, this is how you can participate. First, go to http://www.earthhourus.org/signup to sign on as a participant. Turning off your lights is a visual symbol, signing up is a way to record your voice as a person who cares about climate change. Its like counting votes in an election.Second, invite friends over, as being in the dark alone is never as much fun as with a buddy. Third, turn your lights off. The extent of your electricity shutdown is up to you. You can go for the whole she-bang, as in off goes the TV, computer, all the lights in your home, outdoor lights, neon signs for advertising, lava lamps, desk lamps … or just shut off the overhead lights in your home and the outdoor lights. Fourth, tell people about it. Urge your employer to shut off lights, tell your neighbor, explain to your relatives and feel the power of collective human energy.Imagine how many stars we would see in Eagle County if everyone including my bozo neighbor with the spot light hanging off his house dims the bulbs. Imagine how peaceful our globe will look from space during Earth Hour. The aliens wont know where to find us, but the politicians and lawmakers will most certainly hear us.Freelance writer Cassie Pence is married to the superhero of green cleaning Captain Vacuum, aka Tim Szurgot. Together they own Organic Housekeepers, a cleaning company that uses strictly organic, natural and nontoxic cleaning products. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.