As a collective of individuals we managed to save enough power during this year’s Earth Hour to power a city the size of Polokwane in South Africa. This proves that the World Wide Fund for Nature’s (WWF- http://www.earthhour.org/) initiative is growing stronger with each year, and that South Africans are becoming more aware of their environment and how much of an impact conserving electricity for one hour can make.
On Saturday 29 March over 7000 cities and towns world-wide caused an inspiring collective impact by switching off their non-essential lights and appliances for one hour between 20:30 and 21:30. This not only conserved power but also gave individuals the opportunity to spend quality time with their families, friends and other loved ones. It provided thousands of individuals the chance to just enjoy the night sky without the contaminating influences of unnecessary light and sound.
This year Greenpeace Africa showed their support for this initiative by contacting various businesses throughout the Sandton area in Johannesburg and encouraging them to show their support for the environment by participating in Earth Hour.
The Greenpeace Africa Johannesburg Core Group and fellow Greenpeace supporters then enthusiastically took to the streets for an Earth Hour walkabout around Sandton to observe the general Earth Hour participation. We were thrilled to see that many businesses such as ENS, Citi Bank, RMB, Nedbank, Primedia, BG and Alexander Forbes all partook in this movement. We applaud these businesses for being forerunners of energy conservation in South Africa.
As a South African environmental activist I am extremely proud of Cape Town and its accolade as the World Wide Fund for Nature’s Global earth Hour City capital for 2014. This was announced at a WWF ceremony in Vancouver on the 27th of March 2014.This is a proud moment for the individuals of Cape Town as well as all South Africans seeing that Cape Town emerged victorious over leading world class cities such as Colorado, Seoul, Copenhagen, Antwerp and North Vancouver in its attempts to create thriving technologically adept cities whilst keeping environmental concerns at the top of their list. This shows that South Africa is slowly but surely becoming an exemplary nation which proves that the green movement is growing stronger.
Ricardo Rodrigues is currently in Grade 12 and hopes to go on to study Fine Art and Psychology. He volunteers with Greenpeace africa because he believes that being environmentally conscious and living green is no longer a lifestyle choice but a necessity.