Do your part for the planet March 28

Living in Balance
By Jenipher Appleton

On the last Saturday in March at 8:30 p.m., people around the world will be turning off their lights, computers, TV’s, etc. for 60 minutes. Why, you may ask? This eco-friendly gesture shows a global awareness of the importance of saving energy. The goal for Earth Hour 2009 is for a billion people in over 1,000 cities to turn out their lights at the same time, demonstrating solidarity of caring for our planet. Imagine cities like Toronto, New York, or Tokyo; lights out in thousands of skyscrapers, malls, businesses and homes. Imagine families playing interactive board games instead of electronic ones; or having meaningful conversations; some of them may even include discussions about the eco-system or the future of the planet.
Earth Hour began in Sydney, Australia in 2007 when 2.2 million homes and businesses took part. In 2008, over 50 million people participated. Lights were out on San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge, Rome’s Colosseum, the Sydney Opera House, and the Coca Cola Billboard in Times Square, to name a few.
To learn more about Earth Hour, or to sign up, you can do a Google search for “Earth Hour 2009” to find several websites. This year, the idea is that your light switch in the off position is a vote for Planet Earth. Leaving it on is a vote for global warming. Back in the 1970s, the slogan was ‘If we each save a little, we’ll all save a lot.’ Too bad not many people paid attention to the idea then. We might be in better shape now if they had!

Sure signs of spring
(Sightings in the first week of March)

  • Red-winged blackbirds
  • Grackles
  • Robins
  • A killdeer
  • Great blue heron
  • Canada geese flying north or nesting in the corn field
  • Bald eagles in North Middlesex
  • Gold finches changing plumage to brighter yellow