Going beyond the hour

I’ve been a little quiet on the blog front this year, I’ll admit.  It just seems like all I’ve been doing is watch 24 hour news cycles about one natural disaster after another.  In Queensland, my home state, it’s been one disaster after another – record floods and then the biggest cyclone on record.  Down in Victoria, record floods too, destroying homes  and taking lives.  At the same time, there were massive floods in Sri Lanka. One horrible image that springs to mind is that of a baby elephant carcass washed up high up in a tree, only found after the floods.   The floods in January in Brazil were proclaimed to be the worst in recent history.  Imagine the losses of animal life and the damage to their habitats on top of the tragic human losses.

I keep hearing the words of climate scientists about ‘more frequent extreme events’ being the harbingers of climate change.  I wonder how many of us are putting it all together.  A good mate recently sent me an email being circulated saying that the ash and emissions of one volcano will write off everything we’ve ever done to reduce the impact of climate change.  No one put their name to the email, therefore no one was accountable for it, but it would have been enough for many people to question whether it’s really worth even trying to turn things around for the planet.  What a shame.  The truth is a far cry from what was in that email – in fact we as a species emit much much more than your average volcano in a single day.  The truth is that we can all make a difference at little cost to ourselves simply by changing our behaviours a little bit – and chances are that will save you money too (on your energy bills in particular).

This year on March 26th, Earth Hour is all about going that little bit further than just switching off your lights for an hour.  It’s about going beyond the hour.  It might be as simple as buying local (my hubby Andy, who has run the global campaign since its inception, has committed to only buying local beers, for example), or occasionally walking or riding your bike to work (good for your health too), or just being more conscious of how many lights you’ve got on in the house at night.  Through Animal Works, we’re donating $5000 to help baby elephants orphaned by human-elephant conflict in Assam, India on their journey to be returned to the wild.  That’s our Earth Hour commitment and it’s been made possible by your donations.  Til the end of April, if you sponsor one of our elephants you’ll go in the draw to win a family pass to Australia Zoo.  This Earth Hour, why not donate milk for $10 to a baby elephant?  Or have a candlelit dinner party and celebrate this amazing planet?  Whatever you do, make it count.  Click here to log your action this Earth Hour.  And if you need some inspiration, find a few minutes to watch this video about what we can do when we all work together.

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