News & Events
Earth Hour: Westport took part in the biggest ever celebration for our planet last Saturday
Westport landmarks and businesses joined Buckingham Palace, The Eiffel Tower, Sydney Opera house and thousands others by switching off their lights for Earth Hour last Saturday night from 8.30-9.30pm. Earth Hour 2016 took place in an unprecedented 178 countries and territories, making it the biggest celebration for our planet ever.
In Westport, St. Mary’s and Holy Trinity Church bells rang at 8.30pm calling on landmarks and businesses to switch off their lights. 175 people joined together at the Sentinel to watch the lights of the Sentinel, Westport Town Hall, Holy Trinity Church and the Wyatt Hotel switch off their lights as a symbolic gesture of their commitment to tackling climate change. Portwest, O’Reilly Turpin, The Whyte House, Westport Bikes4Hire and Christy’s Harvest also participated by switching off their lights for the night.
Participants then walked, cycled and carpooled to Gracy’s on the grounds of Westport House for candlelit, wood-fired pizza, followed by music from Grainne Fahy, Rosa Kinsella and the “Singing Sistas” women’s choir.
While celebrating the earth, participants that had travelled from as far away as Galway, made pledges to change one thing is their life to help protect the earth. Pledges included walking to work, producing less waste, joining local environmental community groups, discussing Climate Change with others and many more.
2015 was the hottest year on record and so far in 2016 we have had the warmest January ever followed by the warmest February ever. This temperature increase is causing increased numbers of extreme weather events, droughts, flooding, ocean acidification, ice-caps melting, rising sea levels, animal extinction, difficulties growing crops, etc. However, there are reasons to celebrate, last December the world reached an unexpectedly ambitious agreement in Paris to address the problem and last week it was revealed that, for the second successive year, carbon emissions failed to increase in 2015, even though the world economy grew. China’s emissions actually fell by 1.5 per cent, as the world’s biggest polluter cut its use of coal and increased renewables.
Earth Hour in Westport and worldwide is a call for each of us to be part of the solution to runaway Climate Change. By making changes in our lives, we can produce less Greenhouse gases including Carbon Dioxide and Methane. We can choose to burn less fossil fuels, produce less waste, eat less meat, use less plastic, grow our own food. 175 people actively joined together to be part of the solution and to help Westport take on Climate Change.
If you would like to join in and be part of the solution keep an eye on the Mayo News, Westport Tidy Towns and Westport Smarter Travel for upcoming events. The Holy Trinity Church and St. Marys Church are also taking action on Climate Change by working to become Eco-Congregations. St. Mary’s church will hold its first Eco-Congregation meeting on April 5th at 8pm in Carrowbeg House. Everyone is welcome to attend and to take action on Climate Change.
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