Is Lighting A Candle for Earth Hour Counterproductive?
earth hour 2008
Hank the Eco-Geek tells us that it takes about 40 candles to produce the same amount of light as a 40 Watt light bulb and puts out a lot more CO2, so lighting candles during Earth Hour isn't exactly doing much for our greenhouse gas emissions. But he also points out that we don't tend to light 40 candles and make do with a lot less candlepower, although I am now a bit embarrassed by the picture of our dinner table last year. While the source for his information says burning candles is carbon-negative, Hank concludes that it is roughly carbon-neutral if you don't burn too many. However in the end he notes that this is not the point.
With just my candles burning, chances are my wife and I will have a hilarious dinner in which we can't find the forks, and then we'll try to read our books without enough light to actually read them and then, probably, we'll find some darkness-related activity to entertain ourselves.
And yes, that sounds lovely, but the candle is not saving any energy, it's just making the world a little softer for one evening. And, hopefully, it will remind us of the gifts that technology brings us, so maybe we can not take them for granted quite so much.
More on Earth Hour
Survey: Are You Celebrating Earth Hour?
Earth Hour Getting Traction in the USA
IKEA Goes Dark For Earth Hour (But Not In The USA)
Earth Hour Comes To America