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Earth hour every hour

March 31, 2010
By Brendan Sitters
Source: Google Images

Following in the footsteps of over 126 countries from around the world Monash University powered down for its very own Earth Hour on Monday to raise awareness for the fight against climate change.

For one hour on Monday, 29th March Monash’s six Victorian campuses and its three overseas campuses –Malaysia, South Africa and Italy – switched off all non-essential lighting, computers, equipment and appliances in an effort to reduce its carbon footprint.

“The idea behind Monash Earth Hour is to highlight that you can do more with less,” Program Co-ordinator of Monash’s Earth Hour, Mr Mark Doggett said. “It’s about creating awareness for important environmental issues and educating individuals and large organisations on how they can all play a part.”

As one of the top 200 energy consumers in Australia the Monash community encompasses some 60,000 staff and students. It is because of this, and it’s role as a higher learning institution that Mr Doggett believes Monash has “a certain responsibility to the community.”

“As an institution we have the political, economic and scientific resources to make a difference, if we chose not to implement those resources we simply wouldn’t be justifying our role within the community.”

Earth Hour began in Sydney in 2007 with approximately 2.2 million people and 2,100 businesses taking part. Since then WWF – Australia’s concept has gone global with more than 4,300 cities and towns in 126 countries participating.

WWF – Australia National Project Manager for Earth Hour, Jennifer Croes said that the “tagline for this year is ‘Earth Hour, every hour.’ It’s not about switching off the lights for an hour, it’s about thinking what we can do each and every hour to reduce our footprint on Earth.”

A survey of 100 Monash Uni students

Monash University – a participant since 2008 – is also hoping to make ‘Earth Hour Every Hour’ in 2010 by focusing on the environmental impact of everyday activities and encouraging students to pledge support to sustainability at Monash. “Initiatives such as ‘Earth Hour Every Hour’, and our own ongoing sustainabilty efforts are about giving people a sense that the individual can help and can have an impact on a global scale.”  Mr Doggett said.

Data on Monash Earth Hour is to be released and published by The Office of Environmental Sustainability (TOES) within the next two weeks.

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