Berry turns off lights to spread environmental awareness

Shannon Bostic, Campus Carrier Staff Writer

On Saturday the Berry community participated in the annual global Earth Hour. The international event, created by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), was hosted in order to demonstrate global activism and support for the environmental movement.

According to their webpage on the event, people and groups from almost 200 countries across the world participated in bringing awareness to issues the WWF.

“Individuals, businesses, and cities in 188 countries and territories worldwide joined Earth Hour 2019 to speak up for nature and inspire urgent action for the environment,” the WWF webpage explained. “As Earth Hour Rolled across the globe, thousands of landmarks switched off their lights in solidarity for our planet.”

Berry hosted their own Earth Hour celebration in solidarity with the international one. The event was located outside the Jewel Box from 8:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. by S.A.V.E., or Students Against Violating Earth. At 8:30, the Physical Plant set a timer and turned off several extraneous lights around campus. Students were further encouraged to turn off lights in their own dorm rooms.

“Participating in this event was important to me because it is important to show solidarity in difficult times,” junior and Vice President of S.A.V.E Margaret Ashton said. “There is something powerful about the fact that the Eiffel Tower, The Acropolis and the Jewel Box all went dark for the same reason.”

About 15 to 20 people participated, and even President Steve Briggs and Dean of Students Lindsey Taylor stopped by to show their support. During the hour, participants sat outside by a fire as two students played music on their guitars. Some enjoyed relaxing on picnic blankets while others played a game of cornhole. Many students even stayed past the end of the hour, discussing sustainability with one another.

“When the lights went back on, I felt a bit sad,” Ashton said. “Afterwards I felt more hopeful than I’ve felt in a long time. To be surrounded by people who are committed to changing the world and fighting the good fight made me feel hopeful that I am not as alone as I often feel. An event like Earth Hour where we could slow down and appreciate a beautiful night was a way for me to recharge.”

Next year, Earth Hour will be hosted Mar. 28 from 8:30 to 9:30 p.m.

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