Bhutan observes its first earth hour
«Memorial chorten during the earth hour
Memorial Chorten: Except for causing some changes in the arrangements, the rain did not send home some 100 people, who had gathered at the Memorial Chorten in Thimphu on a gray Saturday evening to observe the earth hour campaign.
Students, who were present, requested everyone to put off electricity consuming items when not in use, such as switching off the lights when you leave a room. “I’m willing to turn off my laptop, instead of putting it on sleep when I go to bed,” a Motithang school student Kinley Tenzin said.
Dawa Yangden, from the same school, said she hopes the campaign would make a difference in saving the planet. “Even a minute makes a difference, but today’s sixty minutes is something we’re really proud of.”
National environment commission Dasho Paljore J Dorji said, since Bhutan was celebrating earth hour for the first time, a small gesture is needed to remind everyone to do something small that will help the environment.
“It’s for the youth that we’re doing this,” he said to the students who had gathered. “It’s your generation that will one day, hopefully, enjoy the fruits of little things we do today.”
Ashi Euphelma Choden Wangchuck, who was the chief guest, said such a campaign in Bhutan in the heart of Himalayas is timely and most appropriate. “This action is a symbol of hope for a cause that grows more urgent by the hour,” she said.
At 6:45 pm, all 12 tube-lights around the chorten were switched off, except for the four solar lamps. The act of switching off lights for an hour was to create awareness on saving energy.
But while some switched off the lights at their homes, there were many, who did not get the message, or who understood the message wrongly.
“I saw an announcement in the local channel, and I thought there was going to be a power-cut from 8:30 to 9:30 pm,” a salon owner in Thimphu town said.
Similarly, many shop owners did not know they were supposed to switch off lights voluntarily.
But some did. Chimi, a teacher said, “I turned off the lights for half an hour and burnt candles instead.”