Saturday, March 31, 2012

Earth "more than just an" Hour

Earth Hour happened today, between 7:30-8:30pm, when all are encouraged to turn off their lights and power down their energy-using equipment to support awareness of climate change and energy use. This began in 2004, and has grown world-wide and major cities participate by turning off their iconic landmarks, for at least one hour.

So, this got me thinking. Why don't we do this every night? I'm not saying for just one hour, but rather being more conscious of what we have illuminated at night and what really can be turned off. Take for instance some of our landmarks in Baltimore: the domes of City Hall and Johns Hopkins Hospital or the Bromo Seltzer Tower, why are these lit up all night long when most of the city is asleep? Let's not stop with just city landmarks. The city could encourage business leaders and property owners to turn off their illuminations and signs at a given time, especially after the businesses have closed for the evening. How about the 1 South Street or the Bank of America Building turn off the lights at the top of the buildings or Transamerica or Under Armour extinguish their signs at say 10pm? So many places leave all the lights on long after business hours are over, just think how much energy (and money) could be saved by flicking the switches.

For the sake of energy conservation, reducing light pollution, and saving money on electric bills, why don't we just turn the lights off at a certain point in the night? Seems like perfect sense to me. Are we that afraid of the dark or do we just like seeing all of our buildings at all hours of the day/night? Either way, this should be seriously considered.

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