On March 28, in 162 countries, from 8:30 to 9:30 p.m. locally, tens of thousands of people will take actions with their friends, family, neighbors and colleagues to help stop climate change. Baseketball great Bill Walton is even getting into the act! The event is called Earth Hour, and it’s become a global tour-de-force. We’re working with NRG Home Solar to make it easy and rewarding for you to join in and make Earth Hour count.
Background on #EarthHour
Earth Hour was started by the World Wide Fund for Nature in Australia. Originally, organizers encouraged people to turn off their lights in a symbolic gesture of support for reducing the use of fossil fuels. Burning fossil fuels emits carbon dioxide, a primary cause of climate change. Turning off the lights was one way to demonstrate our willingness to use less energy while switching to solar and other renewable fuels.
Over the years, Earth Hour has become much more focused on actions we can take everyday that can have a large and beneficial impact on the planet. Rather than sit in the dark for one hour, people are using that hour to make a real difference at home, in their communities, and where they work.
It’s In #YourPower
This year, Earth Hour is particularly focused on reminding each and every one of us that we have the power to make a difference. Here are 7 things you can do in an hour that will help you save energy as well as reduce your electric bill. Why not pick one to make Earth Hour count?
1) Switch out 5 regular light bulbs for LEDs. LEDs last many years longer than a regular incandescent and use far less energy. You can get inexpensive LEDs at any hardware store, our Amazon store, or even in your local grocery store. Replace the lights you use the most – probably the ones in the kitchen, bathroom, bedroom, living room and hallway.
2) Install a new smart thermostat. Set your thermostat to moderate your heating and cooling temps so that it powers down while you’re at work or sleeping, and kicks in when you’re getting ready for work or come home in the evening. You’ll save energy and money for every degree of power you save.
3) Plug into a power strip. Most electronics use 40% of their energy when they’re plugged in but not turned on! In one hour, you can easily plug all your home electronics into a power strip that will stop your computer, fax machine, chargers, and tablets from using power when they’re turned off.
4) Learn more about solar energy. Should you put solar panels on your home? Use Earth Hour to find out. At the NRGHomeSolar website, you can learn how solar works and get someone to help you figure out if it makes sense for you.
5) Set up solar rechargers for smart phones and tablets. You don’t need to install solar panels to use mobile solar rechargers to power your smart phone, tablet, and MP3 player.
6) Write a letter to your elected officials. Use #yourpower as a voter to urge your elected officials to support policies that reduce use of coal and oil and shift to solar energy and wind power.
7) Talk to your community on Facebook and Twitter. Join the global #EarthHour #yourpower conversation on Facebook and Twitter. Post photos of how you’re spending the hour to your social media, and like and retweet the EarthHour photos and Tweets your community is sending out.
Pledge on Facebook to Qualify for $500 Reward
You can pledge to learn more at NRG Home Solar’s Facebook page. NRG Home Solar has teamed up with basketball great Bill Walton to get as many people as possible to take the pledge. If you do, you’ll automatically be entered into a drawing to win one of 10 Earth Boxes valued at over $500. Each box will contain:
♥ a $300 Visa gift card
♥ a Torch LED solar rechargeable flashlight
♥ Torch solar rechargeable speakers
♥ A seed bomb, and
♥ A throw pillow
Plus, if at least 1,000 people take the pledge, NRG Home Solar will donate $20,000 to Grid Alternatives, a wonderful non-profit that helps low-income communities install solar collectors to help homeowners reduce heating and cooling costs.
Remember, you have the power to make a difference. This Earth Hour, put it to use!
NOTE: This post was sponsored by NRG Home Solar. We’re long-time advocates of solar energy and Earth Hour. Our editorial opinions remain our own.