Youth encouraged to turn off portable gadgets for Earth Hour

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MANILA, March 7, 2013—Besides shutting off electricity in observance of Earth hour, a Catholic priest is asking young people to go an extra mile to protect Mother Earth: turn off also the internet, computers and other portable gadgets. 

Fr. Conegundo Garganta, CBCP’s youth commission executive secretary said the observance does not only request the public to stop using the electricity but also provides opportunity for everyone to stay quiet at least for an hour. 

“It is not only the electricity that we need to shut down, but also gadgets like mobile phones, play station, portable ipad, etc. The event is challenging us to change our lifestyle; [we need to] consider and evaluate how we are responding or behaving as stewards and inhabitants of this planet, Earth,” Garganta said. 

He pointed out that the observance will be a good time to offer reflections and insights on how the people have been responding as responsible citizen or occupant of Earth. 

Hundreds of millions of people are set to observe the Earth hour this year on March 23. The event, which started in 2007 in Sydney, Australia as a positive response to the global challenge of climate change, has since been replicated all over the world, uniting businesses, governments and individuals to show their concern for planet earth by simultaneously putting off electricity for an hour. 

“One hour is just a small sacrifice compared to the many gifts and blessings that the planet is providing us. We should also think ways to contribute more on how we can further save the positive resources that we have as inhabitants of Earth,” Garganta added. 

He encouraged young people not to become slaves of gadgets and modern day equipments. 

“Many of our young people are users of modern day gadgets and equipments but they have to learn that they are above these material things. They should not be dictated on by these gadgets and claim that they are masters of these things. Those are not meant to make humans slave but to facilitate work, entertainment and many other positive human activities. So young people should also learn the values of turning these off just for an hour in order to improve themselves as human beings,” Garganta furthered. 

Meanwhile, the National Youth Commission (NYC) also enjoins young Filipinos to turn off electricity in celebration of Earth Hour. 

Commissioner Erwin Andaya said Earth Hour is among the most significant efforts of humans to give back to nature. 

“We may truly replace what is lost, but we can do something about those that are at risk environmentally,” Andaya said. 

Anday, who chair’s NYC’s committee on environment and sustainable development, encourages young Filipinos to go beyond the 60-minute switch-off by living more sustainably to minimize ecological imprint. 

“Here in NYC, we’ll not just be turning off our lights, we shall also turn off our internet, and other utilities for one hour,” he added. (Jandel Posion)

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