On Saturday March 25, millions of Australians will take part in Earth Hour from 8:30-9.30pm to show their support of a low pollution, clean energy future, one in which we can continue to enjoy the best of nature and our great Aussie outdoor lifestyle.

Earth Hour is an annual event encouraging everyone to turn off their lights and electrical appliances for one hour to show your commitment to reducing our impact on the environment.

The event also raises awareness of the importance of our daily actions outside of Earth Hour. Earth Hour asks everyone to take personal accountability for their impact on the planet and make behavioural changes to facilitate a sustainable lifestyle. We can make many small changes to our lifestyles that can make big differences!

In 2017, Earth Hour in Australia will celebrate the places we love that make our outdoor lifestyle and the Aussie way of life so great: our breathtaking beaches, forests, reefs, national parks, snow-capped mountains, rivers and farmland which uniquely distinguish Australia as the “lucky country”.

Yet these iconic places are under threat from rising temperatures and more extreme weather. Small changes to our climate as a result of increased carbon pollution are messing up the delicate balance of nature that we enjoy so much. Rising temperatures will drive coral bleaching on our beloved Great Barrier Reef and a decline in snow season length and coverage in the Australian Alps, while rising sea levels are expected to erode our beaches and coastlines.

The production and use of energy in Australia provides 69% – the single largest source – of greenhouse gas emissions and is the greatest contributor to global warming. If Sydney achieves its Earth Hour target of reducing its greenhouse gas emissions by just 5%, it would be the equivalent of taking 75,000 cars off the road for a year. And this is just one city. Imagine the savings nation or worldwide if we all just switch off for a mere hour.

On Saturday, 19 March 2016, as WWF’s Earth Hour rolled across the world from Samoa to Santiago, millions came together to shine a light on the climate action our planet needs. The tenth edition of the movement’s signature lights out event saw individuals, communities, organizations and landmarks in an unprecedented 178 countries and territories switch off in solidarity with global efforts to change climate change.

It’s time to get pumped for Earth Hour 2017! Join us on Saturday 25 March at 8.30 p.m. local time, for the biggest grassroots movement for our environment. Together, let’s shine a light on climate action and take a stand to #ChangeClimateChange!

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Here are some ideas:

  • Install water-saving showerhead. This will reduce the amount of hot water and electricity used.
  • Take shorter showers rather than longer showers or baths.
  • Only run the washing machine on a full load. Use cold water to wash clothes. Choose low phosphate detergents.
  • Use a clothesline instead of a dryer wherever possible – the sunshine is free and we are not in short supply!
  • Only use a dryer with a full load and ensure clothes are wrung out well first. Keep the lint filter clean.
  • Use the economy cycle on your dishwasher. Only run the dishwasher when it’s full.
  • Set your fridge at 4-5ºc and your freezer between -15 and -18ºc.
  • Keep items away from vents to avoid blockage and freezing of items
  • Keep in a cool, well-ventilated spot away from the oven and sun to save electricity.
  • Keep a generous gap around your fridge/freezer so air can circulate freely and allow more efficient energy use.
  • Keep seals clean and in good condition on fridges and freezers.
  • Switch off your second fridge.
  • Turn off lights you are not using.
  • Use energy-saving globes
  • Use lamps instead of the main light if you only need to use a small area.
  • Put outside lights on a timer/sensor
  • Use a fan instead of an air-conditioner – 20 times less energy.
  • Microwaves use less energy than hotplates.
  • A plasma TV uses more energy than an LCD.
  • A laptop uses less energy than a desktop computer.
  • Look for ‘Energy Star’ labels when buying appliances.
  • Consider using an extra blanket/jumper to reduce heating costs
  • Use trees to shade your home.
  • Use the BBQ to save heating up your kitchen in your house.
  • Try a front loader washing machine – they use less water and 60% less energy.
  • Watch your food purchases – Australians throw away $8 billion worth of food annually. Plan your meals and try and buy what you need.
  • Fill up your own water bottle with tap water rather than buying bottled water.
  • More energy is used in every extra stage of the manufacturing process. Choose less processed foods – save energy and make healthier choices at the same time.
  • Some packaging is necessary, but avoid buying packaged goods where you can. For example, choose to buy a large packet of biscuits or chips and put them into your own reusable container, rather than buying individually packaged items.
  • Buy to last – buy durable goods that will not require replacement as often, rather than disposable and cheap goods.
  • Buy second-hand goods – there is no extra energy involved in making these goods.
  • Repair things wherever possible, rather than buying new.
  • Change your electric water heater for gas/solar, could cut electricity bill in half.
  • Drive less – almost all of the greenhouse gases produced by transport comes from the petrol you use in your car.
  • Smoother driving/braking can save 1/3 of your greenhouse gas emissions.
  • Use recycled products wherever possible.
  • Use your organic scraps and green waste for compost. You’ll save yourself the costs of buying gardening products and minimise the waste going to landfill.
  • Buy local produce – this will save on the cost and the energy used in transportation as well as supporting local business and farms.
  • Collect rainwater for you plants or consider investing in a rainwater tank.

For more information visit – http://earthhour.org/

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