In a column that spends a lot of time talking about how to engage kids using technology, I'd like to take a minute and talk about turning off the technology. Don't worry, it's only for an hour. My fingers are going to be itching to break out my phone and check my email, but I'll resist for Earth Hour. According to earthhour.org,
On 31 March 2007, 2.2 million people and 2100 Sydney businesses turned off their lights for one hour - Earth Hour. If the greenhouse reduction achieved in the Sydney CBD during Earth Hour was sustained for a year, it would be equivalent to taking 48,616 cars off the road for a year.
With Sydney icons like the Harbour Bridge and Opera House turning their lights off, and unique events such as weddings by candlelight, the world took notice. Inspired by the collective effort of millions of Sydneysiders, many major global cities are joining Earth Hour in 2008, turning a symbolic event into a global movement.
As technology consumers, we all know just what sort of footprint we leave. Nobody is asking us to turn off our mission-critical servers or even give up computer-based lessons for a day. Earth hour lasts from 8-9pm this Saturday night (whatever your time zone) and is a brief opportunity for us to offset our everyday consumption of energy. Get your students involved and give the little digital natives a chance to consider the impact of our energy consumption.
Here in Massachusetts, the weather is supposed to stink Saturday night (surprise), so we'll be playing Monopoly inside, under blankets, by candlelight. How will you celebrate Earth Hour?