Earth Hour 2012–Fail

By Bryan • canada, environment, fort st. john, life, personal • 1 Apr 2012

The criticisms of Earth Hour are quite scathing and I generally agree with many of them.  Still, might as well try to do something. Despite the slacktivistic nature of Earth Hour, choosing to observe it in a genuine fashion can be difficult within even the most progressive communities, and thus, damn near impossible in a location like Fort St. John. 

I estimate I managed a 12% participation rate this year.  I was late getting back from the gym and spent the first 14 minutes basked in fluorescent warehouse lights.  Walking back home I briefly had my kitchen lights on for 2-3 minutes as I ate some yogurt.  Not a believer in candles (probably worse that using electricity as a light source) I was relegated to a walk up the main drag of 100th Street, bathed in the ubiquitous sodium-vapour street light.  Cars everywhere, I was not the least bit surprised that I was the only person on the sidewalk for the entire stretch of downtown. Score one for the planet and a lively downtown.  At 100th & 105th I was stared down by a parked RCMP cruiser.  As the only visible pedestrian  it was clearly obvious  I was either up to no good, too poor to drive or had lost my license due to alcohol related charges.  Possibly all three.     

Only 9:00pm.  At this point I didn’t care anymore. Nothing non-alchohol related is open in Fort St. John past 7:00pm, unless one counts Tim Hortons.  9:12…walking back home with a disposable medium decaffeinated roll-up-the-rim-to-win coffee.  I won a donut.

Fail.

However, this is what I did do…and probably is way more useful than a mere hour of ‘lights out’.  I replaced all the bulbs in my rental apartment with compact fluorescents and changed my shower head to an ultra-low flow variety.

Maybe a win.

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3 Responses

  1. Sue Crosby

    I had a hard time getting past the word ‘yogurt’ :)

    We weren’t home but left all lights off as well as the computer.
    One of the advantages of being this far north at this time of the year is that the daylight hours are getting longer and longer and the need for artificial lights gets less. Can’t wait for those evenings in June when you can read your book outside at 11 pm! Soon I’ll be hanging laundry outside again too (once enough of the backyard snow melts to located the clothes dryer). There has been such a big improvement in the effectiveness of laundry soaps that cold water wash is what I use and our energy efficient washer uses very little water. We have mostly compact flourescent lights now………I have to say though that I really don’t like them and that in our experience they do not last nearly as long as they claim they will.

  2. Alex B.

    It’s extremely silly that such a thing as conserving energy to “Save the Earth” is relegated to one hour of one day per year. I myself use candles all the time for light in order to keep the electric bill down, but then again, I’m cheap and want to spend less money on utilities; I bike everywhere (even in the rainy Vancouver winter season), so I don’t have to spend money on transit; I recycle everything I can and don’t buy a bunch of useless trinkets. Not to toot my own horn, but every day is Earth day for me, and I don’t participate in that silly 1-hour crap.
    Good to see that you’re still blogging, Bryan!
    Alex B.

  3. Bryan

    Alex B!

    Been a long time dude! You still livin’ large in Vancouver?

    Yeah, I’ve been trying to get back in the swing of throwing up some blogs on a more consistent basis. I’m paying for this stuff, might as well use it. Although FSJ probably isn’t as interesting as other places I have lived.

    Good to see you are keeping the costs down!

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