Lake Superior Zoo, Duluth, Minnesota

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Thursday, March 24, 2011

You want me to do WHAT!?!
Written by: Ashley Stalvig

When I first joined the zoo’s Green Team I thought to myself, “This will be easy – I recycle, turn the faucet off while I brush my teeth AND I have CFL light bulbs in my house. I’m already living green.” I was wrong; boy, was I wrong!

Living green takes much more of a conscious effort than I realized. While it is not painstakingly impossible, it is more difficult than just floating through life as an unconscious consumer! The Green Team has challenged me to drive less (is there a bus route near me?), use reusable containers for take-out foods at restaurants (you mean I have to think ahead and bring them with me?), log my plastic use (its everywhere – ahh, writer’s cramp!), shop more responsibly by purchasing less packaging (using cloth bags isn’t all I should do?) and now they want me to live in the dark! Well, not exactly…

But, they do want me to be aware that turning lights off, even for an hour, can have a tremendous effect on my footprint. The community’s footprint. The state’s footprint. The world’s footprint?

Yes! This is precisely why Earth Hour was started and I am eager to take part in this worldwide event this year, not only at home, but also as part of the zoo staff. I can be part of the solution; I can make a difference! Earth Hour is a global sustainability movement with more than 50 million people across 35 countries participating in turning their lights off for just one hour. Global landmarks such as the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco and Rome's Colosseum have stood in darkness as symbols of hope for a cause that grows more urgent by the hour.

Will you help too? Join me this Saturday, March 26th, at the Lake Superior Zoo to celebrate a global cause, in the dark. The zoo will turn out its lights and have a bonfire and s'mores, an educational presentation, lantern-lit walking tours and the Arrowhead Astronomical Society will be on hand with telescopes for viewing of the constellations. Click here for more information and to register!

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