There is still debate about whether turning out the lights for Earth Hour makes a difference, but I think there’s no question. It’s done an amazing job of showing the power of individuals to make a difference.

Nearly 4,000 cities were involved this year, up from 400 last year. (See a video of scenes from around the world here.) In Toronto, city-wide demand for electricity was 15 per cent below typical demand for a Saturday night, and 7 per cent below the lowest amount during Earth Hour 2008.

In my house, the indoor and outdoor lights and computers were off even before Earth Hour, and we dined by candlelight. However, we did watch TV by candlelight, too, since the resident Bruins fan had to see the hockey game.

So, awareness is going up. Next step, joining together for more than one hour once a year to make a difference.


Cool before and after photos from around the world: Rome’s Coliseum, Sydney Opera House, Eiffel Tower, Las Vegas strip. Click on the “lit up” photo to see it with lights dimmed.

Before and after shots across Canada.