EDITORIAL: Turn off your lights

This Saturday for the second year Sustainable Skaneateles and Earth Works will be holding an event at Thayer Park to observe Earth Hour.

Earth Hour is an international event during which people are encouraged to turn off their lights for one hour to conserve energy and limit light pollution.

While the tangible effects of turning lights off may be minimal, it serves as a good reminder about what we can do as individuals to help the environment and make the earth a better place to live for everyone.

Part of the mission of the event is to get people talking about environmentalism, and the local event aims to do just that.

Even if you don’t go to Thayer Park Saturday night, here is your chance to take a minute to think about your energy usage and how you can cut back without decreasing your quality of life.

As pointed out by a letter to the editor this week, conserving energy by making sure lights are turned off is not only good for the environment, but can also save money on power bills. That is a win-win situation.

It only takes a small investment to switch from incadescent light bulbs to LED or flourscent ones that use less enegy and last longer. You can also install timers or motion sensors to outdoor light fixtures to prevent needless lighting at night.

While lighting is an easy example to hone in on, it is only the tip of the iceberg. There are all kinds of easy lifestyle changes that anyone can make to save money and limit your carbon footprint. Plan ahead so that you only need to make one trip a week to the grocery store, bank. pharmacy, etc. Lower your thermostat one degree. Rather than using a drive-through, park and go inside. Use a bike as a means of transportation.

As evidenced by the activities of local groups like Sustainable Skaneateles and Earth Works and the efforts of the village to build an environmentally friendly municipal building, Skaneateles seems to be supportive of a culture of sustainability. While this community may not be able to enact change on a global scale, helping to spread that culture and educate future generations, will make a difference.

The Earth Hour event will start at 6:45 p.m. at St. James Episcopal Church with a screening of “The City Dark” followed by an outdoor ceremony at 8:30 p.m., all are welcome.

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