Go Beyond Earth Hour

Ian Somerhalder Foundation

At 8:30pm, March 31st, 2012, the lights went out around the world for this year's Earth Hour. What began as a local climate awareness event in Sydney, Australia, Earth Hour has spread around the world. Since 2007 and the 2.2 million Sydneysiders who first turned out their lights, Earth Hour has grown to include a record 150 countries and territories and 6494 towns and cities in this truly global climate change event! But why should we limit our energy-saving savvy to just one hour a year? Let's go beyond the hour and keep that Earth Hour Spirit alive all year long!

Saving energy goes beyond saving money. Save energy and you will save finite resources. Save resources and you will save the environment and the creatures that live in it! Here are eight very simple, energy-saving tips that are easy to follow and can go a surprisingly long way to making a difference:

Unplug your appliances. When you aren't using that toaster oven or blender or lamp, unplug it! You can also use electrical outlet timers to help manage the standby energy and turn off electrical equipment that is not in use. These are especially great for the holidays! If you have seasonal lights, timers can be a big help in making sure they get turned off during daylight hours.

Take the stairs and avoid the elevator. You'll get exercise, save some energy and reduce your carbon footprint!

Need to use a computer? Cut up to three-quarters of your energy consumption and switch to a laptop instead of a desktop computer! Always turn off your computer and unplug it whenever it isn't in use.

Sometimes purchasing new gadgets can be a good thing for the environment. Old items, such as cellular phones, often have a shorter battery life and require more frequent charging. Upgrade and save with fewer charging sessions!

Use up to 75% energy in your home by switching to compact flourescent light bulbs!

Invest in a solar water heating system. This will definitely save you money and electricity and provide a clean, green way of warming up your water.

Turn off the telly. Save energy by switching off, both the television and the cable box!

And of course, the most obvious tip in keeping with Earth Hour, turn off the lights!

These are some of the easy, everyday things you can do to help save energy and go beyond Earth Hour. You don't need super human abilities or a cape to be a superhero. Do even one of these things and you are a champion for a greener, healthier world!

Find more eco-fabulous ideas at Green Globe Ideas.

Want to do more for Earth Hour 2013? Visit Earth Hour's 'Get Involved' page for great how-to's, tools, and downloads. Spread the word: Earth Hour, March 30th, 2013.