Islanders celebrate Earth Hour at home
By ELIZABETH CELMS
Mercer Island Reporter Contributor
March 31, 2009 · Updated 1:36 PM
Island residents and businesses celebrated Earth Hour along with the rest of the world last Saturday. The global event, led by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), asked that cities, businesses and individuals turn their lights out or down from 8:30 to 9:30 p.m. on March 28 in an effort to reduce the carbon footprint.
The event, perhaps more symbolic than anything else, was commemorated across Mercer Island.
Several Island businesses turned down their lights for Earth Hour, while the city reportedly saved on electricity by turning off lights usually left on over the weekend. Families celebrated in their own individual ways.
Jonathan Harrington, whose daughter, Kela, helped promote Earth Hour through the School District and city, spent the evening playing Risk by candlelight with Kela.
"I asked Kela what she wanted to do, and she said she wanted to play Risk. It was a nice way to rewind after a very busy but successful trimester," he said.
The quiet hour together presented the opportunity to discuss other earth-friendly efforts which the father and daughter could take.
"We talked about additional things we could do as a household to reduce our energy consumption, like taking the bus to school more often," Harrison said. "She was very excited to be part of such a big global event."
Over 2,500 cities and towns in 84 countries took part in Earth Hour 2009, four times as many that participated in 2008, according to Earth Hour's Web site. Across the world's time zones, lights went out promptly at 8:30 p.m., from the Space Needle in Seattle to the Eiffel Tower in Paris. And that was Earth Hour's biggest success; uniting the world in thoughtful consideration of the planet.
For more information on Earth Hour 2009, visit www.earthhour.org.