The Town of Carrboro encouraged residents to go dark for an hour on Saturday to celebrate Earth Hour.
Residents who took part were asked to turn off any electric, non-essential lights — except for ones that affect public safety — in order to support awareness about climate action on a global and local scale.
This is Carrboro’s 12th consecutive year participating in Earth Hour, a global effort organized through the World Wildlife Fund. Cities across the world join in at 8:30 p.m local time to show that collective action can bring about positive change.
“It’s a global movement just to unite folks on all these environmental issues and how we can continue to protect Mother Earth,” Carrboro Town Council Member Barbara Foushee said.
This year’s resolution to recognize Earth Hour was brought forth by Carrboro Town Council Member Randee Haven-O’Donnell during a regular meeting on March 22. The matter passed unanimously.
They noted how Earth Hour has been historically practiced in individual homes but hope to see the event evolve to include more community-oriented action.
“It’s more about how we’re going to incorporate Earth Hour going forward to make it more robust,” they said.
Beyond the event
Earth Hour is part of larger efforts from Carrboro to educate residents on sustainable and healthy living.
Carrboro Town Council member Barbara Foushee said it can oftentimes be challenging to lead an environmentally-conscious lifestyle due to financial and time constraints.
"Everybody doesn't have that same opportunity to focus on climate change everyday, because they're focusing on life stuff," Foushee said. "They're focusing on paying the rent, having enough food, having enough money to meet those everyday, basic needs."
Foushee noted that she wants to focus on education and conversations surrounding climate change for individuals in these situations.
To provide educational resources, the Town of Carrboro plans to hold several events throughout April.
Keep Carrboro Beautiful, which is set to take place on Earth Day on April 22, will encourage individuals to pick up trash across Carrboro.
“I think it’s important anywhere you live to make sure the place is clean and nice for the community and the citizens who live in it,” Galen Poythress, the recreation supervisor at Carrboro Recreation, Parks, & Cultural Resources, said.
Carrboro will also celebrate Earth Day through an event at Town Commons, where tables from environmental advocacy groups will provide education resources to attendees. In addition, there will also be food trucks serving plant-based options.
“It’s like a show and tell, so people don’t feel alone,” Haven-O’Donnell said. "So they see ‘Oh my goodness, all of this is going on in community and I can be a part of it or I can help others be a part of it.'"
Haven-O'Donnell said they look forward to increased participation in local events like Earth Hour.
“It just helps bring the focus back to the window that is closing for climate change and climate change mitigation, and every little thing that we do collectively helps,” Foushee said.
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