Earth Hour 2013 is happening tonight from 8:30 – 9:30 p.m. Earth Hour is an annual celebration organised by WWF (World Wildlife Fund) and communities all over the world, where people, businesses and organisations are encouraged to turn off their lights for an hour to show their committment to protecting the planet. Millions of people take part each year, acknowledging change and sending a powerful signal to the world to live more sustainably.

The celebration of Earth Hour 2013 got me thinking about what we can collectively achieve every day to protect our planet, as well as what we can do in our own house, especially as it’s been a few years since we’ve spent a full winter in New Zealand (the heat pump has already been put to good use.)

Get educated about your options – If it’s possible for you to go solar, do it. In New Zealand it takes about 10 years for the initial investment to pay off and you’re free from those pesky power bills, which only get pricier every year. Investigate other methods of renewable energy such as stand-alone power systems and grid connected systems at Energywise.

Save energy where you can – Dry your clothes outside instead of using your dryer; wash your clothes in cold, rather than warm water; replace your light bulbs with energy saving bulbs; install an efficient shower head; switch off your appliances at the wall when they’re not in use and get your heat pump serviced regularly or at the very least, keep the filter clean. All of these measures and believe me, there are many, many more initiatives, all contribute to a reduction in your energy bill and more cash in your pocket.

Get on yer bike – Biking has to be one of the raddest things out, as well as being so convenient. Not only does it get you to the market super-schnell, you never, ever encounter any issues getting a park. Simply swan on in past the myriad of cars searching for a park, get your goods (still wearing your helmet sends a powerfully sanctimonious signal), pack your bag and you’re on your way, hooray! Get a killer butt, whilst doing your bit to protect the planet. No petrol costs, expensive car bills, warranties and registrations are pure delight.

Dine by candlelight – Make a regular gig out of turning off your lights. Invite your friends over for a candlelit pot luck dinner or make your honey a romantic dinner for two. Not only will your senses appreciate the accentuated dining experience, your energy bill will also look healthier.

These ideas really are just a drop in the bucket and I’ll be exploring more ideas in future posts. In the meantime, tonight you can get involved by switching off your lights, finding an event near you and showing solidarity in supporting the protection of the planet.

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