World Wildlife Fund’s Earth Hour – Energy & Sustainability

As I was browsing through my Twitter feed last week, I came across my friend’s blog post about a challenge issued by World Wildlife Fund (WWF) Canada to Vancouver musicians to help create the Earth Hour 2012 anthem.

What is Earth Hour 2012?

Earth Hour 2012

Earth Hour encourages everyone in the world to switch off their lights for an hour (from 8:30pm-9:30pm on March 31st) to join the movement of fighting climate change. Climate change’s main cause is the fossil fuels that our world has used to generate electricity, heat and fuel for transportation. Greenhouse gases emissions, such as carbon dioxide, are released to our atmosphere when we burn materials like coal and oil. These gas emissions trap heat, which leads to a rapid increase of temperature that countries all over the world experience from.

So what can we do as global citizens?

We should use less energy, be more efficient with what we use and switch to low emission renewable resources such as solar, wind, hydro and geothermal energy. What better way to start and contribute to this cause by participating in Earth Hour and join 1.8 billion people across the global in saving energy by switching off our lights. In British Columbia alone, we saved around 117 megawatt hours and reduced our energy input by 1.8% last year.

There are other ways to participate Earth Hour 2012 before the big day:

  • Pledge to join Team Earth Hour and get more information about Earth Hour and receive 5 Air Miles Reward Miles by being the first 100,000 Canadians to pledge.
  • Download posters and other materials from WWF website to spread the word about Earth Hour within the community.
  • Take a look at WWF’s Team Earth Hour Playbooks to check out creative ways to save energy all year around and things to do on Earth Hour.

Last but not the least, the most interactive and exciting way to take part is to contribute to the Earth Hour 2012 Anthem! By submitting a line or two on WWF’s Facebook page, one can have the chance to have their lines be a part of the official Earth Hour Anthem and have the chance to win an electric scooter. This is WWF’s way of crowdsourcing for their Earth Hour song and it’s a fun way to engage people, both young and old, from all over Canada. There are 820 lyrics in total, which is a great response so far!

On a side note, Earth Hour is on the same day as Sauder’s Grad Night. I wonder if the hotel and the organizers would turn off the lights for an hour to participate in Earth Hour. Imagine, just candles lighting up the whole ballroom. Now, that will be an event that I definitely won’t forget.

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Mercedes-Benz’s Invisible Car – Automobile & Sustainability

German automobile company, Mercedes-Benz launched a creative advertising campaign a week ago to promote their hydrogen-powered cars. The Mercedes-Benz B-Class F-Cell vehicle can travel up to 250 miles and uses an electric engine equal to 134 horsepower. Fuel cell vehicles are zero emission vehicles that run on electricity from hydrogen and oxygen In the advertising campaign, the vehicle is covered in LEDs on the driver side and an SLR camera on the opposite side. The camera shoots video on the passenger side and the video is showed in real time on the driver side. The car is driven throughout Germany and it definitely caught some attention on the streets with people stopping and staring at the car. At the same time, the message, “Invisible to the environment. F-CELL with 0.0 emissions.” is also projected on the LED screen from time to time.

Check out the video here: Mercedes-Benz’s Invisible Car

On top of the most recent advertising campaign video, the car company had other campaigns to promote their hydrogen-fuelled cars. One of them was the F-Cell World Drive which started on January 29, 2011 in Stuggart, Germany. For 125 days, three Mercedes-Benz B-class fuel cell vehicles were driven all over the world from Canada to Australia, with the final stop being back in Stuggart, to promote the advantages of having a hydrogen-fuelled cell car. The people involved in this campaign kept a blog on Posterous to share their adventure and the stories of people they met along the way. They also had an interactive map of the tour that can be accessed on their Facebook account. Using social media tools to engage with its audience was a great way to promote Mercedes-Benz hydrogen-fuelled cars.

Despite all the advertising campaigns done by the company, consumer perception and adaptation have to be factored in. As mentioned in class, people do not perceive Mercedes-Benz as a sustainable company due to the amount of gas that its vehicles need. Also, the need to build hydrogen refueling station with the right equipment might be an obstacle in the future when hydrogen powered cars become more popular.