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article imageIt's Earth Hour across Canada today

By Betty Kowall     Mar 27, 2010 in Environment
Across the world it is Earth Hour this evening and across the country, Canadians will be turning down the lights and turning off the tube this evening.
In London, Ontario students got a jump on Earth Day by organizing school-wide energy saving events during classes on Friday. The idea was to introduce the concept of Earth Day energy saving and demonstrate to students how it could be done while increasing their awareness. According to The London Free Press, "In London, where city hall is again urging public participation, Londoners last year reduced electricity use by almost 11% for Earth Hour."
The Montreal Gazette took note of events honoring Earth Hour from coast-to-coast. In North Sydney, N.S., on the eastern shores of Cape Breton Island, 18-year-old Katie MacEachern and her friends have rented a hall at St. Matthew-Wesley United Church. When the bells chime 8:30 p.m. tonight, out will go the lights, out will come the candles and on will go the music. The Gazette does not report on the energy source for the tunes.
In Canada's westernmost province, Rae-Lynn Fraser, 31, and her family - husband Brendan, 32, six-year-old Hunter and Ronin, 3 - will be bringing out the candles to light their dinner table in Kelowna, B.C. Dinner itself, including friends along with family will be "a feast of locally grown fruits and vegetables" the Gazette reports.
Guelph, Ontario is hosting a symposium on "Human Dimensions of the Environment" today. The municipal government plans to support Earth Hour in a host of other, significant manners as well:
City facilities, including Guelph City Hall, will be dark during Earth Hour, and only essential lighting will be left on for certain 24-hour operations. Computers, monitors and printers will be turned off and thermostat settings in city facilities will be reduced or completely turned off.
Guelph Hydro Electric Systems Inc. will monitor next Saturday evening’s energy consumption to determine Guelph’s energy savings. In 2009, Guelph lowered energy consumption by three per cent during the event.
Overall, the city expects to reduce energy consumption this year by 2,022,306 equivalent kilowatt hours and prevent 592,536 kilograms of greenhouse gas emissions.
The mayor, addressing the "Human Dimensions of the Environment" symposium today took note of Earth Day. Digital Journalist Betty Kowall asked Mayor Farbridge following her presentation to the Hammond Lecture and Symposium if ”an event like Earth Hour contributes to the Guelph Community Energy Plan? And, if so, how?”
The mayor replied, “I am always skeptical of these days because it implies we have to live in the dark and the cold. However, I have to say there are 129 countries, 4000 cities and a billion people participating.... If nothing more it is a reflection of the interest in this issue and a message to policy makers. Some of these types of things help us to make the connections and keep it relevant to people.”
More about Earth hour, Guelph, Canada
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