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Earth Hour 2013


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I happened to watch this video trailer for the PBS documentary “The City Dark” last week and the same day, my four–year-old asked me why we can’t see the stars (on a clear night in downtown Vancouver). It also happened to be the same week I got a note from a TELUS team member that we need to start planning for Earth Hour. While we celebrate Earth Hour to show our support for action against climate change, it’s also a good time to think about our overall impact as humans and how we can minimize it or even add value to our ecosystem.

Ever heard of Earth Hour, the global lights-out initiative?  Well, Saturday March 23, TELUS will take part in Earth Hour by turning off all non-essential lights and exterior signage on many of our major buildings. Where possible, we turn out lights for the entire night or weekend. We also encourage our 41,000 team members around the world to participate at home and discuss sustainability their family and friends.

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You may ask how much impact turning lights off for one hour can have, but, to me Earth Hour is about more than just energy savings. It is a symbolic acknowledgement that action must be taken. It reminds all of us to take a look at our own actions and what we can do, no matter how small it may seem.

TELUS has had a climate change strategy since 2010 and in fact, we launched more than 100 energy-saving projects last year alone. Will this change the world? No. But can you imagine a world where that was the prevailing attitude? I am proud to be part of a company that puts human energy into reducing electric energy use and in reducing greenhouse gas emissions (ghg).

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Earth Hour is also a great time to connect with our customers and business partners on this issue. We will be using Facebook, and Twitter to get the Earth Hour message out to our social media supporters and we are working with our building operators and managers to ensure that we are successful in turning out our lights. (It’s more complicated than it sounds.)

So what will I be doing? I will be in Whistler with my son, turning off our lights and staring up to the sky hoping I can show him how beautiful the night sky is naturally lit up.