In the old days people would say “leave a candle burning” in order to provide safe passage for travelers. These days we say “turn the lights off” to give our planet a little break. I’m referring to Earth Hour, which takes place tomorrow, March 23rd. During Earth Hour, homes and offices around the world shut off the lights for one hour to join together to save energy and preserve the environment.
Wells Fargo will participate in Earth Hour by turning off the lights at our stores and offices from 8:30 to 9:30 p.m. Only lights that are essential for security and safety will remain operating. This seemingly obvious yet brilliant concept, which was developed by The World Wildlife Fund, shows how small, individual actions, collected together, can have a big impact on the planet’s health.
To make this more concrete, consider that one hour without lighting across the company saves about 118,300 kilowatt hours. Even more, imagine if all of our team members flipped the “off” switch on their monitors when they left the office for the day. The company could save about $4.7 million in energy costs, and eliminate more than 60 million pounds of carbon each year – all just by flipping switches.
But it gets better. Green Teams are taking the initiative to extend Earth Hour into everyday activities. At our Frederick, Md., campus team members created a program called “Monitor the Monitor,” where team members got rewarded for consistently powering down their monitors after work hours. Over in Charlotte, the Green Team uses meters to locate areas where energy can be saved. And in Hyderabad, India, our colleagues across the world created the “Monitor Minute” program, where team members turn off their computer monitors for one minute at a time. All of these programs document the energy and cost savings, which are shared with everyone so they can see the direct benefits of their actions.
Now, if you’re not on the Green Team, don’t feel left out. You can lend a hand by doing some simple things each day. Turn on your computer’s power management features that save energy and extend battery life. Remove screensavers, unplug phone chargers and power adapters if you’re not using them. Turn off your monitor before leaving for the day.
After all, Earth Hour should really be happening every hour, every day. Remember the old ads for the yellow pages that said, “Let your fingers do the walking?” Now your fingers can do the savings.