It was on Saturday night. Totally optional, it was to run from 7.30 pm to 8.30 pm and was an experiment to see how much energy we could save if we cut back on a lot of wasted lighting. Office blocks that leave every light blazing through the night, for example. It used to be argued that it was for "security reasons" but with modern technology and sensors, it's just as easy for a light to come on if movement is detected, or cameras to be filming using IR, rather than lighting up the city so much.
On Friday night I have to admit that husband & I were enjoying the sight of the city lights. Luna Park was just across the harbour from us and it was glowing, but it was also in use - we could see the pirate ship swinging, the rollercoaster in action and the big face lit brilliantly. It's a bit like your Coney Island, I gather. In fact there is a part of Luna Park called Coney Island, or at least there used to be.
difficult child 3 wasn't too happy about having his bath in the dark. We had a couple of candles burning, we gave him one in a lantern, plus a small "egg lite" which is battery powered. Meanwhile, we did keep the TV on, there was an interesting program on which we otherwise would have had to tape (also using electricity).
The Sunday papers said we saved 10% of the usual energy usage, when the best they'd been hoping for was 5%. husband walked outside at one point, said he could still see most of the lights on in other houses, so there was a only a small amount of compliance. There was a lot more compliance in the CBD, which could have accounted for a lot more energy.
They're talking about doing this on a regular basis, weekly or monthly. it's an awareness thing. They say that most of our energy usage is hot water, then heating/cooling, then fridges. Well, we have solar hot water (we have to turn it on for a few hours each night in winter), no cooling, one small heater in winter, and two fridges. We keep the fridges in good nick, making sure the seals are good (although our garage fridge needs a new seal soon) so we're fairly confident our own greenhouse footprint is smaller than most.
It was a very useful lesson for difficult child 3.
Margarite, that's so cool. It seems like the rest of the world is trying alternative stuff of in a major way, but our leaders are just to arogant to do that. I live in an area where alot (if not most) people are solar. I was close enough to decide which way I wanted to go. unfortunately my well depth dictated me going electric. But slowly I intend to change things to solar as well.
This wasn't a government thing in any way, although our political parties have finally got the message that green wins votes. It's tragic to watch them scramble to learn the jargon and try to sound convincing... embarrassing, too.
No, this was an initiative by various media groups and others. One of their first targets was the government - when first approached, our Federal government were insistent that city office blocks had to have all their lights on for security reasons. Our government is often quoting 'security' as a reason for anything, to try to shut off debate. But it didn't wash this time.
We had posters, they had t-shirts, there was a website to register (we didn't, though) and I think it will snowball from here. There were even people ringing in to radio stations with ideas on how to spend that hour in the dark.
I read about this in yesterday's Sunday paper. What a great idea!!! My kids and I are constantly talking about the negative effects of global warming... Even my difficult children are getting better about turning off lights, radios, etc. when not in use. WFEN