Welcome to Carbon News Monthly For March, 2011.
An Inspiring Story From Greensboro North Carolina
"Re-Cycles" - Guilford College, Shore Hall Basement
Providing basic bike service, repairs and now rentals in the interests of reducing carbon footprints and in the name of campus sustainability is now being provided.
Students can rent a bike, helmet and lock for five dollars per day or sign a lease for a longer term. If the bike is returned at the end of the semester in good shape, they are eligible for 25 percent of their payment back.
As at most colleges these days, many green initiatives are addressed.
With Spring coming, it's hoped that people will opt for bikes instead of using cars. Encouraging people to change transportation habits is the goal.
Service repairs are made on campus by staff who want to "practice what they preach" by using bikes only as well.
Did you participate in Earth Hour this year?
I think it's important to talk about some of the results and comments from people a bit.
Some Canadians, from the reports I've read, were generally disappointed in the results where they lived.
As you may or may not know, Earth Hour began in 2007, originating in Australia. Other countries have followed their lead and in March on a Saturday night on a designated date, everyone globally is asked to please turn out their lights and other forms of electricity for one hour in the evening.
In Toronto people were quite disappointed to still see so many stores and buildings lit up.
Nova Scotia Utilities reported a small savings of electricity,
down from last year. I believe Toronto reported the same result.
Some people expected some kind of celebration to take place as in the past, but there didn't seem to be any really.
Here are some of the comments by the general public and how they felt about earth hour.
"I do enough as it is by trying to save and not waste all year long."
"Faithfully participated - a great opportunity for family to just around and talk and not be glued to tv."
"Not enough pre-advertising about it. I didn't know."
"What is the point? My hydro bill is higher now even with less electricity used because of all the extras I have to pay."
"People just didn't want to turn off their big screen tvs."
"Earth Hour is a joke because it's like a temporary band-aid. The next day businesses and residences continue to waste."
"I don't believe in this and purposely lit up every light in the place."
This is just an across the board sampling of different comments on the subject out there. I have to say, the majority of people commenting believe Earth Hour has lost its' appeal.
They say "it's just a symbol - big deal."
Yes, it IS a symbol; it's meant to remind people to be concerned about the planet.
Though many acknowledge that they know Earth Hour is meant to raise awareness in order to conserve the whole year long, the main problem they have is a common one.
While "doing without" for one hour, they are looking across the skyline at hundreds of office towers, many government buildings actually, lit up like christmas trees. They don't understand this. Doesn't seem fair, and I can understand the frustration. It's a very mixed message to the average person.
It's difficult to promote savings by powering down, when as one person put it, the Utility companies raise their costs and the bills remain the same or even increase."
"Money" savings is what people want to see as well for their efforts. It's something in black and white that tells them that what they did meant something. It's a way to measure effort. It's just the way alot of people think.
I know when the power is out, it's actually quite relaxing.
Granted, only if the timing is convenient and that's not too often.
Still, it does make me appreciate the fact that I have power at all, and I do think it needs to be used wisely. I also think used wisely by everyone equally would help to convey the message that Earth Hour stands for and wants to send out.
As others are striving to do their part towards green living and carbon reduction improvements, let's still continue to do ours!
Until next time,