Universities Prepare for Earth Hour 2012
On the last Saturday in March, people around the world will be switching off as many lights as they possibly can, as part of the annual Earth Hour event. Students and universities are of course also doing their bit, and some have come up with especially creative ways of raising awareness – and having some fun in the dark.
Organized by the World Wildlife Fund, Earth Hour began in Australia in 2007, and has rapidly grown into the world’s largest environmental event. The aims are to focus attention on climate change, and encourage people to think about how they could reduce their energy use on a daily basis.
Last year a record-making 5,251 cities and towns participated, and 2012’s event looks set to continue this expansion. Individuals, organizations and city councils worldwide have pledged to switch off all non-essential lights between 8.30pm and 9.30pm (local time) – and some for even longer.
This includes turning off the lighting that usually illuminates iconic urban landmarks such as Australia’s Sydney Opera House, France’s Eiffel Tower, and the ‘Welcome to Las Vegas’ sign in Nevada, US.
How are students getting involved in Earth Hour 2012?
The University of Tasmania, Australia, will be one of the first to hit the 8.30pm ‘lights out’ mark. At the university’s northern campus, students will gather to enjoy food, drinks and acoustic music by candlelight, while those at the southern campus are planning a scavenger hunt by torchlight.
At the University of York, UK, the Institute for Research and Innovation in Sustainability is hosting a full day of events, with speakers from around the world, arts and craft workshops, free food, live music and an ‘open mic’ talent show.
The music theme continues at Emily Carr University, Canada, but this time there’s a special challenge involved. Students are planning to use the hour to form a mass band and create a new song together, which they will then record. Participants are asked to bring along “anything that makes sound” – including boxes, trash cans, cutlery and condiments (though actual musical instruments are allowed too).
Also in Canada, staff and students at the University of Waterloo and Wilfrid Laurier University are really going the extra mile (pun intended) by taking part in a sponsored 5k run to raise money for the EcoCAR 2 project.
Meanwhile students in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, can expect a visit from television presenter Ali Al Saloom, who is running awareness-raising sessions at universities throughout March and April. Participants will be challenged not only to switch off for Earth Hour, but also to keep a record of their continued efforts to reduce their carbon footprints, and encourage others to do so as well.
- How universities are becoming more environmentally friendly >
本文首发于 2012 October ， 更新于 2020 January 。