On Saturday, a few faithful friends and I celebrated Earth Hour, a global event about climate awareness sponsored by the World Wildlife Fund. The event began in Sydney, Australia in 2007 but has expanded worldwide. In cities across the globe, individuals are asked to take a stand against climate change by turning off all lights for one hour, from 8:30-9:30 p.m., on March 26.
In Chicago, the skyline goes dark, and many people eat dinner by candlelight. I wanted to bring this event to my small Japanese town, so I organized a gathering at Chonta’s 39, an izakaya, in Namerikawa.
My friends and I drank, ate food and laughed in the candlelight. I encourage you to hold your own Earth Hour event next year if that sounds like fun to you. Simply look at Earth Hour’s Website for some tips on how to organize an event.
There are also ways to celebrate Earth Hour beyond the hour.
Although skeptics debate if Earth Hour actually makes a difference, I think the hour is more about symbolism and acknowledging the need to do something about climate change. It was also nice to be away from my computer for a little while and to chat with friends in a very simplistic setting.
Some also used the hour to think of those around the world who are suffering and need help. In India, a group of Earth Hour supporters dedicated their vigil to the victims of the Tohoku earthquake and tsunami. Given that many people in Japan are still dealing with rolling blackouts due to the Fukushima nuclear situation, I think it’s important to continually think of little ways we can conserve energy. These photos are courtesy of Jenson. 皆さん気をつけて。