Town of Caledon Supports 2013 Earth Hour
Earth Hour arrives on March 23, this year; it began in 2007 in Australia when 2.2 million individuals and more than 2,000 businesses turned their lights off for one hour to take a stand against climate change. A year later, Earth Hour had become a global movement with more than 50 million people across 35 countries participating. Last year, 7,001 cities and towns and a record 152 countries and territories participated in a global display of climate action.
In 2012, Earth Hour launched the “I Will If You Will” pledge and it invites individuals and organizations to challenge others to pledge to an environmental behavioral change beyond Earth Hour. Already, more than 200,000 people have accepted challenges like recycling, giving up plastic, using more public transport and supporting reforestation.
Since 2008 the Town of Caledon has been an active participant of Earth Hour. In 2012, the Caledon community achieved a 10.4% electricity reduction during Earth Hour, well-exceeding the 2.7% average reduction achieved by Ontario as a whole. As a Town with a history of environmental leadership Caledon has embraced many sustainability programs and technologies. As a result, the municipality does not have excessively lit buildings or areas that can be powered down as a symbolic gesture for Earth Hour. However, as committed supporters of climate change, the Town will be carrying out the following actions in support of Earth Hour:
1. Town Hall – Earth Hour will be held on a Saturday evening therefore the interior of the building is normally dark. However, for Earth Hour, the Town Hall’s parking lot lights will be off. Some security lighting will remain on at the building.
2. Caledon Centre for Recreation and Wellness (CCRW) – On a Saturday evening CCRW is the Town of Caledon’s largest facility in operation. In anticipation of Earth Hour this facility will be closing down an hour early (8 p.m.) and will be going dark at 8:30 p.m. on March 23rd. Some security lighting will remain on at the building.
3. Due to their electricity consumption, Albion Bolton, Mayfield and Caledon East arena ice plants will be shut down for the hour although the arenas will remain open.
4. All Caledon Community Centres – Efforts were made to minimize the number of bookings during Earth Hour to minimize energy consumption.
It is easy for residents to create their own Earth Hour challenge and inspire their friends, family and colleagues to protect the planet. A Caledon example for an “I Will If You Will” pledge could be “I will bike/carpool to work for a week if my family agrees to give up plastic bottles”. Whatever you choose to do to support climate change on Earth Hour, remember, any small, positive change adds up to an ecologically stronger future and a healthier planet for all of us and, as importantly, for future generations.