Earth Hour; a lovely sentiment but missing the mark

Today at 8.30pm is WWF’s “Earth Hour”, where they have urged us all to make a stand for the planet by turning off all our lights, therefore saving the energy that would otherwise have been used. Ariel (yes, the laundry company which is the antithesis to the term “eco-friendly”) have pledged Β£1 for every person participating. Some issues I have with this concept:

  1. The sponsor of the event (Ariel) is actively causing environmental damage with their destructive chemical based, plastic promoting laundry products. This feels like a massive case of greenwashing by Ariel, to jump on the “environmentally conscious” bandwagon without having to actively make any changes in their own business. Of course, it’s nice they’ve made the effort but it seems suspiciously like a marketing ploy to detract attention from their own misgivings.
  2. The term “Earth Hour” is very catchy and inspiring. It brings to my mind connotations of large actions to help towards the betterment of our earth. When I found out it was just turning off the lights for an hour, it felt like a bit of an anticlimax to be honest. This action has helped take the strain off the Earth for one hour of one day of a year, but what about the future? What about going forwards? This hasn’t really encouraged any active change in our day to day lives, and hence won’t be making any drastic change to the future of Earth and its inhabitants.

Although it is lovely to see how many people are participating, and encouraging to see there are many people who care, we need a bigger movement of stronger actions which can be implemented in our everyday lives, rather than such a fleeting action which enables everyone to return back to their daily grind with the validation that that was fulfilling their eco quota for this year (yep looking at you Ariel).

With unprecedented rates of deforestation, rapid environmental devastation triggered by human activity, climate change rearing it’s ugly head and causing disastrous consequences for habitats, wildlife and humans alike, we have possibly already run out of time. However, there is still scope to save what little we have left, and it is up to all of us as individuals to make the changes available to us (not just turning off our lights for an hour one day a year), whilst our “leaders” flail between profit and ethics.

Every hour should be Earth Hour, not just 8.30 pm today.

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