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Earth Hour - 26 March

Date Released: Thu, 24 March 2011 15:12 +0200

For the Planet. By the People. Rhodes University staff and students will be joining forces to celebrate Earth Hour this Saturday, 26 March. Earth Hour is an international event, organised by the WWF (World Wide Fund for Nature), involving close to five million supporters in over 100 countries around the world.

Staff and students in all departments, institutes, offices and residences have been encouraged to turn off ALL unnecessary lights between 20h30 and 21h30 on Saturday 26 March.

Rhodes University events organised with South East African Climate Consortium Student Forum, GRASS (Gaian Revolutions And Social Solutions) and Astronomy Society, will feature performances by Drum Society, Bua Poetry and Voices of Glory in the Botanical Gardens. The evening will kick off at 6pm with a screening of the documentary GASLAND – at Eden Grove Red – followed by a short presentation on the proposed hydraulic fracturing in the Karoo. Moving across to the Botanical Gardens, Earth Hour celebrations will continue from 20h30 until late.

In keeping with the theme this year, all staff and students were also encouraged to go `beyond the hour’ through following these 10 tips for everyday living:

1. Ensure that you switch off unnecessary lighting and appliances around your home or office.
2. Don’t overcharge your batteries in your cell phones, laptops, shavers, or electric toothbrushes. Rather switch off the chargers at the plug as soon as the batteries are charged.
3. Cut down on driving where possible by arranging lift-clubs to school or work, or using alternative transport to reduce traffic and harmful emissions whilst saving on petrol costs.
4. Be waste-wise by recycling or starting a compost-heap. You’ll be sending less household waste to the landfill each week.
5. Go for solar heating as an alternative to the electric heating of your geyser.
6. Make sure your fridge is working efficiently by keeping it ¾ to fully stocked, cleaning the coils, and closing the door tightly.
7. Ensure that your oven is efficiently used. Or switch to a gas oven.
8. Replace traditional light bulbs with energy-saving ones through-out your home. Remember to recycle these light bulbs correctly.
9. Become an eco-friendly shopper by making wise “green” consumer decisions and choosing reusable packaging.
10. Use gas heating instead of electric heating in winter.

More info on www.earthhour.org.za