Last night we turned out our lights for an hour, in keeping with the Earth Hour mandate. Looking out the window, it didn’t appear that many in Barrington were with us on this, although in a rural area, with street lights and public buildings (well, maybe two of those) with lights still on, it was hard to tell if anyone had joined the campaign or they were just out for Saturday night.
With the early time change, the hour started with a fair amount of light, probably only barely at the point of turning them on in the first place. I played the guitar for half an hour, while Ellen played Sudoku (battery powered, with a light—was that cheating?).
They say the purpose of the “observance” was to raise awareness; certainly it didn’t result in a significant cost saving for electricity (in Ireland they saved 1.5% for the evening), but it did provide some awareness to be sure.
A couple of weeks ago I took on a part-time job for Google– actually it’s for a company that contracts work for Google. Unfortunately, I don’t get the corporate benefits that they apparently do at places like their Google Mountain View California headquarters, where staff enjoy a workout room with weights and rowing machine, locker rooms, washers and dryers, massage room, assorted video games, Foosball, baby grand piano, pool table, ping pong, roller hockey twice a week in the parking lot, and a cafeteria described as having “healthy lunches and dinners for all staff, with outdoor seating for sunshine daydreaming”. And, if that is just normal, consider the rumored Google policy that no ones workstation will be more than fifty feet from a snack cart or room, where you can access “bins packed with various cereals, gummi bears, M&Ms, toffee, licorice, cashew nuts, yogurt, carrots, fresh fruit and other snacks, plus dozens of different drinks including fresh juice, soda and make-your-own cappuccino.”
Certainly you can’t imagine a more pleasant workplace, except the thoughts wander easily to visualizing 300 pound people walking about the halls, unless the roller hockey and workout room copes with that issue.