Saturday, March 27, 2010

Chile joins Earth Hour, 2010

This year Chile became one of the 88 new countries to join the cause, "Earth Hour."

Earth Hour is about creating awareness about the harm we do to the natural environment and building a sustainable future. People, companies and cities around the globe turn off their lights for one hour, 8:30 to 9:30 pm local time to support the cause. Both this and last year I did hear word of the event here in Chile.

In my opinion, Chile is way behind the game on everything "green." Heck, I don't even have the option to recycle (unless you count the fact that the garbage men sift through the stuff I throw out). In general the city and its residents do not outwardly seem too concerned for the environment. Plastic bags are more popular than the goods that go in it (not kidding, sometimes someone will double bag your ONE item!), people litter everywhere, and any sort of message of environmental consciousness or activism is mostly unheard of. I'm sure there are some people concerned with these issues, but during the years I've been here the only times I've come in contact with the issues have been through other expats, and maybe a piece of graffiti or two.

So it was no surprise to me that to the naked eye, Earth Hour in Valparaiso looked like a huge flop.

A few weeks ago we did have a couple blackouts, however. So maybe some considered their dues already paid. In those events, the news reported 80% of Chile experienced what was almost a nationwide blackout due to grid damage from the earthquake that happened a month ago today. I was in the hills of Valparaiso at the time and took a video as well. This is what Earth Hour in Valparaiso should've looked like:


  1. I remember hearing about it hear about three years ago. But, you are right. Our building doesn't have recycling, but Abby's does. I feel bad throwing away so much paper and plastic that will just go sit in a landfill somewhere.

  2. YAY! I published a comment for the first time in a week:p

  3. Hahah congrats. I turned off the verification thinking that might help, thats what bloggers been causing me trouble for when i post at others' blogs. At least until I get spammers... I wonder if thats got something to do with it. I hope it is just a coincidence and the thing is fixed anyway.

    Abby's building has recycling?? The only thing somewhat similar to recycling Ive seen here are those big gumdrop shaped green things where you can donate glass bottles to save children somehow. But theyre in like plazas and nowhere near my house.

    I've also seen people who dig through trash to collect cardboard. I have no idea what they do with it..but maybe that means there is a need for recycled goods at least.

  4. Hay empresas que compran papeles y cartones, y muchas personas se dedican a buscar en la basura y a sacar esos papeles y cartones para venderlos, por kilo, a esas empresas.
    El edificio donde vive mi polola también separa vidrios y papel de los otros desechos, pero sólo para botarlos aparte. Siempre he pensado que si esos desechos se colectaran y vendieran a esas empresas, los habitantes del edificio podrían usar ese dinero para pagar parcialmente sus gastos comunes.

  5. Thats actually a great idea. I'm sure the process of changing would be slow and in the end the money received is probably nothing near the gastos comunes as often they are high...but then again why not!