Earth hour challenge to take the cup away from Castlegar

Boundary Sentinel
By Boundary Sentinel
March 25th, 2010

The gloves are off! Castlegar has challenged West Kootenay / Boundary communities to beat them at the Earth Hour Challenge. So, from the Boundary Sentinel and Granby Wilderness Society, we are asking everyone to get involved and for one hour on Saturday, Mar. 27 at 8:30 p.m., do something in the dark. Anything. Let’s kick some b— and beat Castlegar! So far Castlegar is running at about 76 per cent of the community signed up to participate and Grand Forks is at 9 per cent. Sign up today and let’s bring home the Earth Cup!

And let Fortis know about it so we can prove we did it.

FortisBC PowerSense encourages customers to join the millions of people around the world participating in Earth Hour by switching off and unplugging. If you record your participation at the FortisBC website you’ll be entered to win a weekend getaway at the Manteo Resort in Kelowna, and they will be able to record what communities participated! So go online now and share your plans for that hour in the dark.

According to the Castlegar Source, in March 2009, Castlegar citizens handily won the award for best participation in the West Kootenay, with 56 per cent of the total, beating out Nelson’s 25 per cent and Trail’s 19 per cent. That same year, hundreds of millions of people took part in the third-ever Earth Hour, with over 4,000 cities in 88 countries officially switching off their electronics to pledge their support for the planet. Among West Kootenay residents, Earth Hour 2009 recorded a 2.11-per-cent reduction in energy demand for the area, a significant improvement over 2008, which recorded a zero-per-cent reduction.

The winners will each receive the Earth Hour Cup, sponsored by FortisBC. And pledges are pouring in with plans varying from playing board games by candlelight to going for a walk in the dark to count the stars.

“FortisBC customers have shown a real interest in this international initiative, one that we are proud to support because it’s a positive way to conserve electricity,” says Michael Mulcahy, FortisBC’s Vice President of Customer and Corporate Services. “Last year during Earth Hour, electricity usage was reduced by nine megawatts over a comparable Saturday. We’d like to beat that record this year.”

FortisBC will monitor the amount of energy used during Earth Hour and compare the results to an average day for the same time period to calculate the savings. However, what’s more important than the actual energy saved for one hour by residents and businesses who turn off their lights, is the exercise of thinking about energy that’s used regularly, but perhaps unnecessarily, and starting to think about conservation every day.
Earth Hour is gaining momentum from year to year, as awareness grows of the need to conserve energy. Individuals, communities and businesses are finding a variety of ways to get involved.

Energy conservation is not limited to Earth Hour challenges once a year. If all residential and commercial buildings shut off their lights every night for a year, it would displace the same amount of emissions as 1/3 of the cars on our city’s roads – 760 tonnes of carbon dioxide! Perhaps it’s time to start thinking of conservation every day.

Visit www.fortisbc.com to share your Earth Hour plans and enter to win a weekend getaway for two at the Manteo Resort. You can also call the FortisBC toll free number at 1-866-4FORTIS (1-866-436-7847).

Categories: General