Sunday, March 15, 2009

March: Equinox, World Water Day, & Earth Hour

A few upcoming dates this month to watch for:

March 20 - Vernal Equinox (aka. First Day of Spring!)

A date most of us think of as the official changing of the seasons, the vernal equinox marks the date when the sun crosses directly over the equator allowing both day and night to be about equal (equinox = "equal night"). The equinox occurs twice a year (vernal and autumnal equinox), and these brief but monumental moments owe their significance to the 23.4 degree tilt of the Earth's axis. Because of the tilt, we receive the Sun's rays most directly in the summer. In the winter, when we are tilted away from the Sun, the rays pass through the atmosphere at a greater slant, bringing lower temperatures. If the Earth rotated on an axis perpendicular to the plane of the Earth's orbit around the Sun, there would be no variation in day lengths or temperatures throughout the year, and we would not have seasons.

Modern astronomy aside, people have recognized the vernal equinox for thousands of years. There is no shortage of rituals and traditions surrounding the coming of spring. Many early peoples celebrated for the basic reason that their food supplies would soon be restored.
Taken from:

March 22 - World Water Day

This is a day of action to promote water as a public good, not a source of profit. Access to clean affordable water is a human right, and work is being done around the globe to achieve the goal of water justice now.


Some Water Conservation Tips:

- use natural cleaning products to reduce harmful chemicals washing down the drain
- reduce water consumption in home bathrooms, kitchens, and laundry
- repair leaky taps, install low-flow showerheads & water-efficient toilets
- recycle water (e.g. dishwashing water can be used in the garden)
- replace lawns with water-wise natural landscaping and native plants & grasses
- collect rainwater in rainbarrels for watering yards/gardens

March 28 - Earth Hour, 8:30-9:30 pm

An annual international event organized by World Wide Fund for Nature/World Wildlife Fund held on the last Saturday of March, that asks households and businesses to turn off their non-essential lights and electrical appliances for one hour to raise awareness towards the need to take action on climate change. Started in 2007. Takes place on March 28, 8:30 pm local time.
Obviously one hour of reducing our power is only a symbolic gesture, but hopefully does get both citizens and governments taking futher action toward general energy conservation.

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