More than 4000 cities and towns in 88 countries participated in Earth Hour, making it the world's largest ever demonstration of public concern about climate change. I can't even think of any other (peaceful) event where so many people round the world have been involved.
It’s not surprising that even with the small number of blogging event participants we had two Greek bloggers. Why? Because Greece had an amazing rate of participation. Although the Philippines had the most cities/towns/municipalities participating (600+), Greece came second (400+), then Australia (300+), Canada (300+) and the USA (200+).
Earth Hour is misunderstood by a lot of people, who think the focus in on energy saving. WWF and Earth Hour participants around the world are not stupid – they know that turning off lights for one hour doesn’t save enough electricity to make a difference.
Earth Hour was never about one hour.
Earth Hour has two very important roles to play in public awareness:
1) It shows us - in a visible, practical way - that when many individuals do something together it does make a difference. When we all switched off our lights and made our cities go dark, we saw that if each of us does our bit (individuals and business) it will make a difference overall. It is symbolic.
2) By participating in Earth Hour, people walk around their homes switching off appliances and lights etc and through this practical process they realise where they can reduce their energy consumption (and costs) every day. And that experience is what can lead to a lasting change.
Participating in Earth Hour is an educational exercise. It is not a saviour in itself and for media and critics to use this as the main reason to condemn Earth Hour, well they are just showing their ignorance and lack of imagination.
Anyway, that’s my take on it, and since I worked on the Australian project and speak on a daily basis to one of Earth Hour’s founders, I'm confident I know what I’m talking about :)
But onto the recap!
Firstly, thanks to the 10 bloggers who joined me for this event. I must admit even I found it hard to choose a recipe that was environmentally friendly enough to feel confident writing about it. The food global supply chain is so massive that it’s often hard to find local ingredients or low level packaging. It’s a real challenge.
So here are the results:
Arugula White Bean Dip
Bellini Valli from More Than Burnt Toast (British Columbia, Canada) made an Earth Hour meal that that could be enjoyed by candlelight but which lefts only a small carbon imprint on her area of the world. Her bean dip requires no cooking, the rocket was bought from a local greenhouse and the naan bread came from a local bakery too.
Johanna from Food Junkie not Junk Food (Athens, Greece) made a dish with vegetables directly from her own garden! Mustard greens are wonderful, vibrantly flavoured vegetables that I wish I could find more easily in Sydney. If only I had my own garden to grow them in!
Chicken Curry w Tomatoes
Deeba from Passionate About Baking (Gurgaon, India) used local farm raised chicken, fresh tomatoes and fresh curry leaves from her own curry tree to produce this delicious curry. There was no packaging involved and all the ingredients were locally sourced.
Ivy from Kopiaste.. to Greek Hospitality (Greece) choose recipes that did not need to be cooked to reduce her energy consumption. Her mezedes included taramosalata, tahini, horiatiki, tzatziki and a bottle of Cypriot wine by candle light. I’m swooning!
Barley Salad w Peppers, Beans & Everything Else
Soma from eCurry (Plano, Texas, USA) made a trip to the local market to load up on fresh, seasonal vegetables, beans and grains to make this “healthy and fulfilling salad”.
Banana Peach Mango Crumble
Chris from Mele Cotte (Atlanta, GA, USA) went sweet on fresh fruit to eliminate packaging and conjured up this “quick and satisfying dessert”. Best of all she can recycle her fruit rinds and in the compost!
Pasta in Home Made Sun-Dried Tomato Sauce
Sandeepa from Bong Mom's CookBook (USA) used local ingredients to make her dish, which also uses few ingredients, limiting waste from leftovers that might not be used.
Carrot & Tomato Soup
Rinku from Cooking in Westchester (Westchester, NY, USA) relied on local produce for her key ingredients. The recipe can be made in bulk in season then frozen for later use.
Spaghetti w Homemade Pesto
Hema from Simply Spices (USA) didn't throw away some week-old basil, but instead turned it into pesto to flavour pasta. An economical and resourceful use of aging, yet still perfectly delicious, herbs.
Beef Stew w Fresh Casserole Herbs
Iska from ISKAndals.com (New Zealand) used home-grown herbs, veggies from the farmer's market and 100% local beef which she explains "means the meat came from cows born and raised on NZ farms, produced according to the NZ' animal welfare codes, low in foodmiles and free from added growth hormones".
Potato & Feta Cakes w Two Toppings
This was my own contribution to low-carbon cooking, using leftovers from various meals to make a dish that could stand alone in its own right. It was truly delicious.
So that's it folks. For more information about low-carbon cooking, I included some facts and tips in my recipe post.
Otherwise check out all the videos and photos of Earth Hour around the world.
Thanks for participating.