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Event reminder – The Big Switch Off this weekend, 6 to 7 October

Posted in Events, Movements, Seeking by Ferne Edwards on October 2nd, 2007

The Big Switch Off campaign is happening this weekend from 8pm Saturday night, 6 October, ’til 8pm, Sunday, 7 October. Join thousands – maybe millions?! – of individuals from homes, business and elsewhere in this challenge to raise awareness of our excessive energy consumption.

Below is some information from the “Challenge” page from the Big Switch Off website. Read on to find out more and check out the website at http://www.thebigswitchoff.com/.

We’ve all heard about global warming and most of us have now experienced the first effects of climate change. There’s no longer any argument to the cause – the human burning of fossil fuels to create energy is emitting copious amounts of greenhouse gases. Australia’s electricity is mainly generated by burning dirty coal. We have the cheapest electricity in the world and emit more greenhouse gases per capita than any other nation. We are the spoilt children of the world. If every country lived like we do, we’d need four planet earths just to keep us going.

Every time we watch TV, cook dinner, take a hot shower, use the computer, turn on the lights, air conditioner or heater, we’re emitting greenhouse gases. Every time we drive our cars, charge our mobile phones, mow the lawns, we’re contributing to global warming and speeding up climate change. We all kind of know this don’t we?

This is an invitation to stop consuming energy for as long as possible over 24 hours and to think about it.

It’s also about the joys of getting back to basics and finding out what you can do when you’re not using power. Hey, you might even find yourself spending more time with family and friends. Crazy, huh?

How to switch off
You can pledge to switch off for any length of time between 8pm on Saturday, October 6 and 8pm on Sunday, October 7 – you might choose to switch off for one hour, two hours, 10 hours, or all 24. There are also two levels of participation.

Level 1 Big Switch Off participants will turn off their house electricity. They will switch off their gas hot water heater, put their car keys away, switch off their mobile and any other battery-powered devices, and unplug their landline phones. Ideally, they won’t step foot into any powered site, shop, house or building. They can, however, use public transport, buy ice and use beeswax or soy candles, which aren’t made from petroleum.

Level 2 Big Switch Off participants vow to make as many of the above efforts as possible during the time they’ve chosen to switch off, but who for various reasons, such as having to go to work during the 24-hour period, may need to draw on some power sources. They will still try as much as possible to switch off.

On October 7 at 8pm, by which time everyone will have switched back on, participants will hopefully be more aware of what they’re switching on. Over those 24 hours, if one household has switched off for the entire time, they could prevent about 40kg of greenhouse gases from entering the atmosphere – that’s 800 black balloons worth. While small compared to Australia’s total emissions, every little bit helps. If all Australian households were to participate in switching off for all 24 hours, this would prevent over a quarter of a million tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions over that one day.

Switching off for up to 24 hours might take some planning on your household’s part. Think about it – preferably before Saturday at 8pm.

Global warming is now the biggest issue of our generation. To make a difference, we need both individual efforts and government action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. But this is not a protest. It is an initiative that will open more eyes to this big issue, for the planet’s sake.

Please forward this invitation to as many friends as possible and make sure you register for free with us here.

You can also join us for a free community event in Melbourne’s Treasury Gardens on Sunday, October 7 from 2-5pm. For more information, visit the ‘Sunday gathering’ page.
Let’s make The Big Switch Off one of Australia’s biggest community challenges.

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