Save the Date, Save Energy, Help Save the Planet!

Turn off your lights and unplug anything you can this Saturday night, March 28, 2009, from 8:30 to 9:30 p.m.  You’ll be joining over one billion people, in over 2,800 cities and towns in 84 countries, who have chosen to conserve energy during the international “Earth Hour” celebration.  This is the first time Houston will officially participate. 

One hour without electricity doesn’t seem like much, but if enough people turn off their lights and appliances, etc., huge amounts of energy can be saved.  Hopefully this brief participation will make all of us think a bit more about how we use (and misuse) this finite resource and will inspire us to take further actions.  For more information, visit www.earthhour.org or www.earthhourus.org

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Then, on April 24, turn out your lights again for the 2nd annual “Lights Out Houston” program.  Although this program primarily targets Houston businesses, all of us can participate.  Last year the electricity saved was enough to power 4,600 average Texas homes for a year!  Check out http://www.houston.org/lights-out-houston/ to learn more and to see a list of businesses/corporations that participated in 2008.  If your company is not on the list, encourage the powers that be where you work to join this worthy effort! 

And be sure to get outside to gaze up at the stars during these “lights out” events!  Without all the “light pollution” of a normally-lit night in the greater Houston area, you should be able to see a lot more stars and constellations!   Lots more at www.darksky.organd www.starrynightlights.com/lpIndex.html

Energy: What’s Next?

With Election Day in full swing, our Energy blogger, Claire, takes a look at “The Good, The Bad and the Energetic” today, in a guest post over on the excellent Oil Rules blog. Here’s an excerpt from Part 1:

“The…election and rising gas prices have raised the topic of energy to a higher level of importance for most Americans. Whatever it takes to make us examine what is required to produce the energy we crave in this country is good because it causes us to consider our responsibilities to the world today and to future generations.

Theodore Roosevelt, head-and-shoulders portrait, facing left
Theodore Roosevelt:
conservationist.
Creative Commons License photo credit: sakraft1

Theodore Roosevelt, years ahead of his time, was an instrumental force in initiating wise conservation of our resources.

“In utilizing and conserving the natural resources of the Nation, the one characteristic more essential than any other is foresight… The conservation of our natural resources and their proper use constitute the fundamental problem which underlies almost every other problem of our national life.”

Address to the National Editorial Association,
Jamestown, Virginia, June 10, 1907.

The importance of the resources used for the production of energy show that Teddy Roosevelt was especially correct in predicting that conservation of resources would affect every other problem in our lives.”

Check out the full post for more information – including criteria for evaluating our options, so we can make a smart decision about what comes after oil. Check back for Parts 2 and 3 – coming soon.