Winners of Earth Hour 2020 Contest

Theme: What does Earth Hour mean to you in times of the pandemic

Presenting the winners of the Earth Hour 2020 contest organized at Casagrand Luxus, a community that has always been sensitive to environment conservation related matters. The pandemic and the lockdown did not dampen the spirits of this community, with people enthusiastically taking part in the Earth Hour event as well as the competition that followed it, while completely adhering to social distancing .  

Earth Hour Blog

Earth Hour in the time of Coronavirus

By: Aniruddh Kamath and Anant Kamath (B54)

Every year 28th of March is celebrated as Earth Day – a day to cherish our wonderful and unique home, and to commit ourselves to conserve and protect it.  At 8.00 pm, for an hour, the world over, people and governments turn off electrical lights and equipment as a symbolic gesture of conservation – Earth Hour.

This year, the Coronavirus pandemic lead to widespread lockdowns worldwide. People were forced to remain at home. Shops, factories and industrial workplaces were shut down. National and international air traffic was halted. Cruise and tour operators cancelled trips.  The usual “Earth hour” was in a way extended to several weeks. The result of all this?  Pollution levels dropped, CO2 emissions reduced. In China alone, the nearly two-month long slow down reduced CO2 emissions equivalent to half the yearly emissions of the U.K.  It is estimated that the reduction in pollution levels saved 60,000 lives in China, many times the number lost to the Covid-19 disease. In India, even in the first few days of a 21 day lock-down, Delhi already reported the best air quality in months.  Venice reported clearer waters and a return of dolphins to the shore. Wildlife was spotted on city roads.

 

The unprecedented lockdowns due to Coronavirus have brought untold hardships to the peoples of the world. Economic activity is affected, and livelihoods are in danger. The global economy is in recession. Still, while human beings suffer, the Earth seems to have benefited. Certainly the Coronavirus pandemic has slowed down the runaway slide of global warming, and delayed our headlong rush towards other impending disasters due to climate change.

Coronavirus has made us all pause and think. How much economic activity is really necessary for humankind?  Are countless business trips round the globe needed, or can they be replaced by conference calls? Travel and tourism opens minds and allows people all over the world to understand each other. But, should there be quotas and caps on how many people travel? Should there be regulations on the energy consumption and environmental impact of cruise ships? The cleaner air and clearer skies are there for everyone to see. After the pandemic is over, what actions can people and governments take to ensure some of the good “side-effects” of these lockdowns linger?

 

The Coronavirus pandemic has also shown us how fragile our existence on Earth really is. The United States, the world’s largest economy and the world’s most powerful nation, has the highest Coronavirus cases. The developed nations of Europe are crippled with the highest number of deaths from Covid-19. It’s astonishing that in the 21st century the entire world can be brought to its knees by an act of nature in a matter of days.

 

Scientists have warned of the dangers of global warming and climate change for years. Yet, most people and governments on earth don’t seem to care. What if the Earth turns against us, all of a sudden, one of these days? No one expected the speed and enormity of the Coronavirus pandemic when it came. The world was caught totally unprepared, and is still grappling with the situation that does not show any signs of moderating. Things could get worse with Climate change.

After this pandemic is over, hopefully we’ll remember these scary and uncertain times. Will we save water? Will we avoid unnecessary travel? Will we recycle? Will we reduce consumption? Will we take public transport? Will we avoid cars for short distances? Will we protect our stunningly fortuitous planet? Will we avoid an upcoming disaster that could be worse than the current one?

The Earth Hour painting

by Ruhi (Age 6 of B43).

Very imaginative use of Yin Yang symbol and very painstakingly done. The O is a yin yang symbol - one side of which is the Earth and the other side is human life and the idea is that we need to balance our needs as humans with the needs of the earth as a natural entity. The black background with golden specs was symbolic of earth hour with darkness and candle lights

The Earth Hour video

by Lyn, Joel and Angel (B50)

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