Lights Off for One Hour

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Photo Courtesy World Wildlife Fund.
Earth Hour stared in 2007 by the Australian chapter of the World Wildlife Fund.

On Saturday March 28 at 8:30 p.m. local time, 1,000 cities in 80 countries participated in Earth Hour, sponsored by the World Wildlife Fund. From neighborhoods to historical landmarks, communities gave electricity a break.

Although some may think this is just an inconvenient hour with no power, participating in Earth Hour raises awareness of our planet’s critical state and helps people be more energy efficient.

The Australian chapter of the World Wildlife Fund founded Earth Hour in Sydney in 2007. What originated from two million people participating in the first Earth Hour has turned into 50 million people worldwide turning their lights off in 2008. This year organizers anticipated one billion people participated.

How did you do? Did you turn your lights off? If you did, we want to know what you did during that hour. If you forgot, you can participate next year and in the meantime, you can take these energy-efficient measures:

• Replace showerheads and household faucets with WaterSense-labeled products.

• Invest in light dimmers for your CFL lights.

• Seal the gaps and leaks in your home.

• Replace older appliances with Energy Star certified appliances.

• Turn the thermostat down in the winter and up a few degrees in the summer.

More about energy savings

• Energy efficiency isn’t just for the wealthy. Read about the Department of Energy’s Weatherization Assistance Program to learn more about low-cost energy savings.

• Follow these five easy tips to keep your home energy efficient.

• Save green by going green. Read about how homeowners are turning away from luxury products to energy-efficient and sustainable ones.