Earth Hour 8:30pm Saturday, March 19, 2016
In 2016, Earth Hour in Australia will celebrate the places we love that make our holidays, outdoor lifestyle and the Aussie way of life so great: our breathtaking beaches, forests, reefs, national parks, snow capped mountains, rivers and rural areas which uniquely distinguish Australia as the “lucky country”.
Yet these iconic places are under threat from rising temperatures and more extreme weather. Small changes to our climate as a result of increased carbon pollution are messing up the delicate balance of nature that we enjoy so much.
Rising temperatures will drive coral bleaching on our beloved Great Barrier Reef and a decline in snow season length and coverage in the Australian Alps, while rising sea levels are expected to erode our beaches and coastlines.
On Saturday March 19, millions of Australians will take part in Earth Hour from 8:309.30pm to show their support a low pollution, clean energy future, one in which we can continue to enjoy the best of Australia’s great outdoors.
If you’re travelling to a place that you love in 2016, here are few tips and tricks to help you travel a bit more lightly or sustainably, to help preserve these special places into the future.
1. Book with responsible travel companies that have sustainability initiatives in place. Intrepid Travel is doing some good work in this space to ensure their trips are designed to limit human impacts on the destinations they help travellers visit.
2. Start your green holiday at home! Before you leave make sure all electrical equipment is turned off at its source to reduce energy usage. If you have a gas hot water system you can even set this to the lowest setting, or completely turn it off.
3. If you’re driving to your holiday destination, consider a comfortable level of carpooling. Sharing rides reduces emissions and the amount of additional cars on the road. And it can save you money.
4. Use public transport or walk wherever possible. It’s a hard one, but avoid taxis and planes only if and when you can. Planes emit a significant amount of carbon dioxide (CO2) into the atmosphere which contributes to climate change.
5. Avoid plastic bags and bottles as they create litter and end up in the sea, affecting marine life. Australians buy 600 million litres of bottled water a year and use 10 million plastic bags a day (that’s 3.9 billion plastic bags a year!). When on holiday, take your own refillable water bottle on bushwalks, sight seeing or shopping trips.
6. Use downloadable maps,brochures and travel guides, as paper ones often just get thrown out.
7. Consider portable solar items when camping, such as lamps, BBQs and cookstoves. Solar is a climate friendly choice compared to items that use charcoal and gas fuels that emit high levels of carbon emissions .
8. Being environmentally conscious does not mean missing out on a bit of luxury! Many luxury resorts and destinations in Australia and abroad are Eco Certified. Just look for the red eco certification tick of approval or visit Eco Tourism Australia for a list of environmentallyfriendly luxury resorts or experiences.
9. Reconnect with nature and take part in Earth Hour on Saturday 19 March at 8:30pm. Earth Hour 2016 will spotlight the effects of climate change on the places we love our coastline, rivers, reefs, alps, farmland and national parks. Get outdoors to an Earth Hour event in your area on the night to show your support for action on climate change.
10. Carbon offset your travel. It’s very easy to do. Climate Friendly is one of many organisations helping travellers to minimise their carbon footprint by offsetting travel emissions and purchasing power from renewable energy sources.
About Earth Hour
Earth Hour is a great homegrown success story: an Aussie campaign designed to draw attention to tackling global warming and get people talking about what we can do to help. What started as a onecity, oneyear campaign grew into the world’s largest mass participation event for the planet with over 7000 cities in 162 countries taking part. In Australia, Earth Hour is something that brings communities together to demonstrate their support for action to tackle global warming, with one in every three Aussies taking part in 2014.