Vistara students resort to old-fashioned means to cool down, having turned off all electrical items in support of Earth Hour. From left are, Isaac Fuad, 6, Lilli Allan, 11, Julius Wassenas, 10, Jasmine McGuane, 10, and Elena Matiussi-Pimm, 5.
Vistara students resort to old-fashioned means to cool down, having turned off all electrical items in support of Earth Hour. From left are, Isaac Fuad, 6, Lilli Allan, 11, Julius Wassenas, 10, Jasmine McGuane, 10, and Elena Matiussi-Pimm, 5.

Earth Hour: power in your hands

THE KIDS at Vistara Primary School got into the Earth Hour spirit early yesterday, turning off all things electrical and electronic for an hour.

That meant no lights, no fans and, God forbid, no computers!

Ten-year-old Julius Wassenas didn’t have a problem with that and saw it as the perfect antidote for the computer-addicted Generation Next.

“It’s totally okay – we totally overuse them anyway,” he said.

Teacher, Rukminii Athans, said the simple act of turning off lights sent a powerful message that small steps taken collectively can make a huge difference in reducing our carbon footprint.

“Mindful of the 2010 Earth Hour motto ‘Earth Hour Every Hour’, we’ve committed to long-term goals for sustainability,” she said.

“While turning off lights and other electrical appliances is a great first step, the idea is to make a commitment beyond the hour.”

Under Ms Athans’ guidance, the students came up with a list of ways to achieve that, including playing board games under candlelight , playing hide-and-seek with torches, and going outside to look at the stars instead of watching television.

Earth Hour kicks off tonight at 8.30pm and will roll on around the world with more than 1100 cities in 120 countries signed on to switch off for an hour this year.

It’s the fourth year of the Sydney inspired event that keeps growing. This year another 100 cities have joined the campaign.

Greg Bourne, from the World Wildlife Fund Australia, which conceived and organises the campaign, said Earth Hour’s success was based on grassroots support from conscientious citizens around the world.

“Earth Hour is driven by citizens and groups thinking globally and acting locally in the community,” he said.

This year the University of Western Sydney, in conjunction with WWF Australia, will study the phenomenon in an attempt to discover the campaign’s success and monitor the effects on people’s long-term behaviour.



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