An organisation based in Victoria is asking Australians to switch off their power, gas and water for up to 24 hours on a given date next month in an effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, make households and businesses more aware of the amount of power they use each day, and hopefully influence them to cut-down on their power use for good.
Various musicians and radio personalities including Triple J presenter Myf Warhurst and Cat Empire lead singer Felix Riebl along with important local destinations such as Melbourne’s Arts Centre Spire and the Giant Sky Wheel on the Yarra River will be turning off their lights and power as displays of support for the event, which will be held from 8pm 6 October until 8pm 7 October.
“We have the cheapest electricity in the world and emit more greenhouse gases per capita than any other nation. We are the spoilt children of the world. If every country lived like we do, we’d need four planet earths just to keep us going,” says the website, at www.thebigswitchoff.com
“Every time we watch TV, cook dinner, take a hot shower, use the computer, turn on the lights, air conditioner or heater, we’re emitting greenhouse gases. Every time we drive our cars, charge our mobile phones, mow the lawns, we’re contributing to global warming and speeding up climate change.”
According to the organisers, which includes a team of supporters including Sustainability Victoria, Coopers Brewery, Banrock Station winery and McDonald’s, every household could save up to 40kg of greenhouse gas emissions or the equivalent of “800 black balloons” if they switched off their house electricity, their gas hot water heater, put their car keys away, switched off their mobile and any other battery-powered devices, and unplugged their landline phones.
“While small compared to Australia’s total emissions, every little bit helps. If all Australian households were to participate in switching off for all 24 hours, this would prevent over a quarter of a million tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions over that one day,” says the website.
“Global warming is now the biggest issue of our generation. To make a difference, we need both individual efforts and government action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. But this is not a protest. It is an initiative that will open more eyes to this big issue, for the planet’s sake.”