Thursday, April 03, 2008

Earth Hour

You might remember that after Celebrate Sustainability Day, I was hoping to get some semblence of a life back. Since then, you may have noticed that blog posts have been few and far between and you might then have come to the conclusion that I failed in the endeavour to regain a life. And you would be right.

As soon as Celebrate Sustainability Day ended, planning for Earth Hour began. Earth Hour started last year in Sydney and is now an international event focussed on the link between energy consumption and climate change. Cities around the world shut off their lights from 8-9pm on Saturday, 29 March. Earth Hour aims to not only reduce emissions for one hour, but also to show people that there are steps that they can take to reduce emissions all through the year.

We decided that ANU should do something really cool for Earth Hour and came up with a nice little plan that turned out to be way more work than expected. How does that always happen?

I've spent the last month working with the students in campus residence halls to create a comunity building and awareness raising event for Earth Hour. We decided that we would make a whole evening out of it and design a giant display of the earth in candles with music and a free BBQ.

So while our simple little plan turned into an epic adventure, it was all worth it! The evening turned out even better than I expected! We planned a BBQ for 350 people and ran out of food mid-way through the evening; many more turned up later in the evening just to see the candles and the music.


Setting up. We planned to be at it all afternoon but we had such a terrific group of volunteers and such a well planned design strategy for the candle display that it only took a few hours!

There were a few panicky moments where it was really windy and the candles wouldn't stay lit - no, no, no, please no! - and then the wind died down and they all stayed lit all evening! Whew!

We got a cherry picker and a professional photographer from the ANU to get some "aerial" photos. Here, Liz and I got to go up and see our creation from above. So cool!


For Earth Hour itself we arranged for a local group, the Big Bang Theory, to do African drumming and at the same time had three people out in the candle display doing fire spinning. It was such an awesome vibe! The music and the fire show were incredible - these folks went out of their way. Many thanks to all of them!

And here are my favorite images from the night, both by Stuart Hay of ANU Photography.



Above: The display after dark with fire spinners in the center of Australia.

Pretty neat, eh?

You might also be interested in more information about Earth Hour in general, ANU Earth Hour coverage in The Canberra Times, and some photos and stats about Earth Hour in Canberra.

4 comments:

  1. I saw that the Space Needle in Seattle went dark, along with nice pictures of the Sydney Opera House, lit and then dark. Glad you were in the center of things.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Congrats again on another successful event! Read the article. You should have been mentioned too :) Ah well. I know you aren't in it for the fame and fortune! Glad to know you are on the scene making a difference!!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Congrats again on another successful event! Read the article. You should have been mentioned too :) Ah well. I know you aren't in it for the fame and fortune! Glad to know you are on the scene making a difference!!

    ReplyDelete
  4. You are an amazing pair! I rarely read your updates, but every time i do, i wish i had the hours to catch up on everything you've written about. You've been gone so long, and i miss you guys! I can update you sometime on my life, just wanted to say hi here and egads! You work very hard for your causes. Way to go! You are an inspiration and example to emulate.

    ReplyDelete