Written by Queenie Lei, a fourth year Communications student with an intended minor in International Studies. She is fascinated with international affairs and is always trying to discover more about herself.
Out of the four seasons, spring is my favourite for several reasons. Firstly, back as an elementary school student, it meant that school was almost over. In addition, my birthday is in May! I also love watching the cherry blossoms grow and blossom. I also really like the spring weather in Vancouver since it is not too hot and not too cold! Whenever I think of spring, Earth Hour, the Cherry Blossom Festival, local farmers’ markets, and spring-cleaning pop into my mind. These activities all encourage me to be more mindful about my surroundings and help me to be more socially conscious of my actions and the impact it has on the environment and the people around me.
Currently, I am in Hong Kong for my exchange and I participated in Earth Hour here.
Held annually, Earth Hour is a campaign that was launched by World Wildlife Life to encourage people around the world to participate in turning off the lights for one hour. By turning off the lights for one hour, consumers are reducing their energy footprint and their carbon footprint. This year’s Earth Hour took place on March 19th at 8:30-9:30pm local time.
image source from https://www.earthhour.org
Surprisingly, Hong Kong has been involved with Earth Hour since 2009. And last year, approximately 137.8 tonnes of carbon emissions were reduced. This is equivalent to 5,991 trees to absorb the carbon emissions in one year (source: https://www.earthhour.org/hong-kong). My host institution, City University of Hong Kong as well as my hall master (who is from Canada!!) encourages their students and residents to participate in this year’s Earth Hour as well!
In general for the people in Hong Kong, many landmarks and iconic buildings across the Victoria Harbour go dark during Earth Hour. Specifically for City University of Hong Kong students, to encourage everyone to participate in turning off the lights, my hall master invited everyone to the common rooms on third and fourth floor where the Hall 10 Environmental committee would host activities ranging from acoustic music to games for the duration of Earth Hour. Building our own social capital is an important aspect of sustainability as it allows us to bond with the people around us, and work together to improve our impact on the environment.
Earth Hour is an important day as it can make a difference in reducing emissions, even if it is for one day and that it can also raise awareness about being cautious with our own environmental footprints. During this year’s Earth Hour, I spent it with some of my floormates, hanging out, playing games and discussing our plans for Easter Break. There is not a huge difference between Earth Hour in HK and Earth Hour in Vancouver as the goal for the two events are the same. However, it felt different because last year, I spent it alone but this year, I was able to celebrate Earth Hour with friends. :D
To read more about Earth Hour and the influences it had, visit https://www.earthhour.org
How did you celebrate your Earth Hour? Happy Spring-time from Embark Sustainability blogging team!