Earth Hour 2017
Good Shepherd Centre Observes Earth Hour 2017
25 March 2017
Residents of Good Shepherd Centre hail from Bangladesh, China, India, Indonesia, Myanmar and Philippines. Most of them have not heard of Earth Hour before Sr Jossie and Michelle briefly told them just before dinner that we were observing it in solidarity with millions of people from 170 countries.
At 7.30pm staff turned off the air-conditioner in the office, the photocopier and non-essential lights in the premises. All mobile phones were kept in the office. Residents gathered in the dining room, chatting excitedly in anticipation of how Earth Hour was to be observed. At 8.30pm the dining room was plunged into darkness when the lights were switched off together with the fans. Two candles were lighted to provide rudimentary illumination.
Since English was not fully understood by everyone, Sr Jossie used simple terms to lead activities that helped the residents become aware of some irreversible damages due to man’s disregard for planet Earth. In silence, each was guided to reflect on their homelands and how climate change had affected theirs and their families’ livelihood, e.g. how rivers have dried up, making farming difficult; how fishermen were coming back from their trips with smaller or no catch. During their group sharing, many told of the challenges their families faced back home, which they were previously unaware were due to the assault wreaked by man on nature. The mood turned sombre as each one said her name and in solidarity pledged to take steps towards saving Earth from more destruction.
Each one pledged that while she was in Good Shepherd Centre, she would conserve precious water by limiting showers to 5 minutes; wash crockery and utensils in basins instead of under running taps. They pledged to switch off lights and fans when they leave their rooms and common areas. In their conscious bid to recycle, they pledged to separate waste products before disposing them responsibly in the proper containers provided instead of dumping everything into one waste bin.
While observing Earth Hour is a good start, it is vital that each one of us continue to intentionally do our part to preserve our planet for future generations. Everyone could resonate with the little ways to continue to save Earth, such as switching off electrical items and remove plugs from the sockets; learn how to compost and harvest rainwater, and use LED light bulbs.
As Mission Partners, let us "embrace the process of a shift in consciousness which leads to a new understanding of God and inter-connectedness with one another and the environment".