Earth Hour is Today! Google Gets Involved, Too

Dark version of Google's home page for Earth Hour
Google changes its background color to black in observation of Earth Hour 2008.

Today is Earth Hour! If that time hasn’t already passed for you, please remember to turn off your lights from 8–9 p.m. today. And even if it has passed, please remember that, ideally, this should be part of an overall energy-conserving lifestyle. Plan for regular periods of very low energy use, and learn how much you can do even with turning some things off.

And in case you missed it, Google has redesigned their home page for today. They’ve changed their color scheme to use a dark background. In my memory, this is unprecedented. I have never seen them take up an initiative like this, and while I have seen them change their logo on numerous occasions, I do not recall them ever changing their whole color scheme like this. I am really impressed that they did this—they have the potential to reach so many people and what a great way to really call attention to Earth Hour. Of course, they have a long history of supporting environmental projects. They include a prominent link explaining their support of Earth Hour so anyone will be able to read about why they’re doing this.


7 thoughts on “Earth Hour is Today! Google Gets Involved, Too

  1. Whoop-di-do! they changed the colour. I can bet you a million dollars they didn’t shut down their power hungry servers for even a minute let alone a whole hour.

    I just want to say that this earth hour stuff is all bull.

    Getting everyone to turn stuff off for one hour isn’t going to help the earth that much, in fact it may even cause MORE DAMAGE !!

    For example: Imagine an average family of 4 and their usual night. Perhaps this family walks to the local convenience store and rents a video to watch together every Sat night. They use a highly efficient microwave to nuke some leftovers and plop down in front of the TV for two hours with no other lights on because you can see the movie better that way.

    This week, this hypothetical family decides to “do the earth hour thing” with a few neighbors. They drive to the grocery store and purchase alot of meat and prepared foods like sweets/deserts, potato salad, and chips. They burn who knows how much propane to cook the factory-farmed meat they eat off paper or even Styrofoam plates. They use candles made from petroleum, or lamps powered by batteries or oil to light the party… And whatever doesn’t get eaten, will wind up in big plastic garbage bags to be taken to the dump.

    All this earth hour stuff is just another way for the average man to feel like he’s doing something good while making a mess.

    Actively choosing to turn down your thermostat a few degrees in the winter and up a few in the summer would save MUCH more energy than turning off all your electrical stuff for an hour each year.

    Actively choosing to REDUCE and REUSE would mean that the little that you do need to RECYCLE can be done in a cost effective manor.

    Actively choosing to compost your food scraps would not only save you money on fertilizer for your lawn each year, but would return the nutrients to the earth where they belong instead of trapping them in plastic bags buried under other garbage in a dump.

    Choose wisely in your day to day actions, and you’ll do so much more for the world than any STUNT like “Earth Hour”.

  2. Shannon, I think you missed the point of Earth Hour. Although saving energy was a secondary goal, the primary goal was to raise awareness and pledge support for the environment.

    Unlike the fictious situation you stated, my family and I did what many did in Chicago. We turned off all our lights, and walked around the city with our dog to see the lights turned off. We used so much less energy than we would have during that hour and had great family time 🙂

  3. → Shannon I think Nica has it right on. I understand your confusion — you seem to be under the impression that the energy reduction during Earth Hour was to be its major goal. I don’t agree: I viewed it as more of a rally or protest. In the big picture, making these sorts of personal choices is helpful, but as Cyde Weys pointed out at my “Mind Map” entry, what we really need is governmental action.

    As far as I’m concerned, the primary purpose of Earth Hour was to get people thinking about the environment, and to send a reminder message to politicians. For a similar perspective, you may be interested in Time’s “Earth Hour ’08: Did It Matter?

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