By Caitlin Schmid
It was lights out at Loyola Saturday night.
Loyola University Chicago did its part during Earth Hour 2010. The Halas Field and Seal Earl Track high field pole lights were turned off as was the parking structure main lighting system.
Some buildings on campus, including Damen Hall, Quinlan, Flanner, 1 E. Pearson, 25 E. Pearson, 26 E. Pearson, and Lewis Towers, reduced their electricity in the lower lobbies.
Aaron Hammond, 21, a junior environmental studies major from downstate Kankakee thought the efforts on campus were commendable.
“The global and campus efforts for Earth Hour were nice to see. However, I don’t think they advertised enough anywhere. It could have been a bigger event if more people knew about what was going on around campus and the city of Chicago,” Hammond said.
A record-breaking 121 countries – 34 more than in 2009 – participated in Earth Hour, a global event, which celebrated its fourth year Saturday evening.
Starting with New Zealand and following the sun around the Earth, thousands of cities showed their efforts in supporting the need for change at 8:30 p.m. local time on March 27th, 2010. By turning off unnecessary lights for an hour, people may not have put an enormous impact on the reduction of carbon and greenhouse emissions in the atmosphere, but it is surely the symbolic thought that counts.
An estimated 1 billion people did their part by showing that they care about climate change and the need to improve the efforts in saving the planet before it is too late.
Efforts in the United States have improved dramatically since last year. Nearly four times as many states have now joined the Earth Hour board. Twenty-seven states have agreed to partake in the yearly event.
As worldwide efforts continue to grow, the World Wildlife Fund is staying positive. Expansion of the number of participants in the global phenomenon is expected to increase for Earth Hour 2011. Anyone who would like to get involved is more than welcome to do so. By visiting the official website for Earth Hour, anyone can join the movement and can find easy ways to make Earth Hour 2011 a success.
Illinois has also shown its participation for the third year. Joining the Earth Hour Campaign, sponsored by World Wildlife Fund, in 2008, residents, businesses, and corporations turned off lights to support the global phenomenon.
Local buildings including the Sears Tower, the John Hancock Center, the Wrigley Building, the Chicago Theater, the Oriental Theater, and several others showed their support.
Jacob Huebsch, 18, from White Bear Lake, Minn., was impressed with Chicago’s efforts.
“It was really cool to watch the lights turn off on the skyline,” Huebsch said. “Having everyone come together to make an impact on this important event is something we must all do our part in helping with.”