It was no one’s birthday. But for a few minutes, we sat there in silence watching the candlelight dance with the soft breeze passing through the opened window.
A moment like this is rare for ours is a household that has gotten accustomed to blaring loud music with different gadgets plugged into the wall all the time. While checking through phones, our laptops are also playing some random music. We are connected to the world — name the gadget and we probably have it.
On March 24, we decided to pay our tribute to Earth Hour, a tradition which we’ve practised for years now.
Living in a penthouse of a building that was renovated to accommodate all sorts of modern amenities, our household is a daily witness to how much energy each family in the building consumes.
The whirring noise of airconditioning units never stop. We know cause all we have to do is step out into the rooftop and amidst giant satellite dishes and imposing water tanks are dozens of air conditioning condenser. If not for thick walls, we’d be hearing their complaints all day.
On the 24th, there was a little bit of peace compared to all the other regular days. It’s good to know that, at least, our building owner is aware of environmental issues.
We have a good view of the Qurum skyline. Checking out how many other households were cooperating on the Earth Hour initiative, it’s easy to tell that at least in this neighborhood, Earth Hour has not gained any traction yet. It was saddening to see.
This year, the Environment Society of Oman (ESO) announced the annual Earth Hour to be on March 24. With a global theme of Connect2Earth, this year’s focus is on raising awareness about global biodiversity.
In Oman, the efforts made by ESO included a scavenger hunt event hosted at the Sultan Qaboos Sports Complex. The activities included making people aware of the issues being faced by Arabian Sea humpback whales.
We planned to join the gathering but since it was too far from where we were, we decided that our family’s best contribution is to switch off our lights for an hour, just like many other people all over the world do.
I know several of my friends, in their own homes, just like me, have committed to turning off their lights. Some companies, same as last year, also committed to the effort. But inviting more people and creating awareness among the public is still necessary as it has not fully gained the attention it truly deserves.
While it’s hard for some to fully understand why switching off lights for an hour in one year can make any difference in the global climate combat efforts, what people have to realise is that alone, they are powerless. It is only in doing things together can we truly make a difference.
Your one hour of switching off lights, combined with millions of others all over the globe — there’s the power. Earth Hour is about this, how your one hour is your contribution to the over-all betterment of the world’s health.
YERU EBUEN –