Earth Hour – the Response of One School Community

Convinced that we are living on borrowed time and consuming resources of Mother Earth that actually belong to future generations, members of the St Joseph’s Bowbazar school community in Kolkata, India participated in the recent Earth Hour as a means of contributing towards a more responsible and sustainable use of resources and a reduction in pollution.

At a school assembly students from Class XI (pictured) spoke about the history and aims of Earth Hour and with the aid of a short skit showed how to make it a success.

In the following days, eight groups of students, accompanied by teachers embarked on a door to door sensitization program with people from the local area. The campaign was met with a warm hearted, open minded response and people promised to join in.  Some raised practical difficulties with sitting out for 1 hr in the dark – discomfort for elderly people, and an important cricket match for example.

When students agreed that these were real problems and the event could be  still be celebrated if everybody contributed by minimizing usage of electricity, people found the idea quite practical.  Kids living in the same building or having friends who live in the vicinity agreed to watch the match together, so that more tv sets could switched off & in the bargain they would have more fun.

Housewives agreed to defrost the refrigerator at around the appointed hour and agreed that they could spend the evening under the open sky with time to appreciate the stars.  Some shopkeepers went all out to canvas to their customers and friends saying this was the least that we could do for the citizens of tomorrow.

At the appointed hour, a group of students, teachers and members of the SJC Old Boys’ Association who had assembled in the school under the starry sky, after first ensuring all appliances on the premises were switched off, again embarked on a door-to-door campaign in an attempt to persuade as many people as possible in the vicinity to switch off their lights and join in the Earth Hour celebration.

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