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Care for the health and wellbeing of Mother Earth? Then today is a good day to show her how you feel – it’s Zero Emissions Day, time to take a 24 hr holiday from fossil fuel energy.

Zero Emissions Day (ZeDay) celebrates it’s 5th birthday in 2012, and this year the theme is ‘Reboot!’. As the ZeDay website says, “Shut down everything non-essential powered by fossil fuels for a day – press reset – and then start up fresh. ZeDay 2012 marks our new beginning and you can help make it happen…”

This is what we’re doing to the environment with our energy-hungry lifestyles.
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The idea is simple – don’t burn oil, gas or coal and minimize your electricity use – do this for just one day. The amount of energy consumed by modern society is staggering, with more and more power-hungry devices becoming part of our daily lives – ebook readers replacing books, tablets replacing notepads, GPS devices replacing maps, smartphones replacing personal contact… The list goes on. And all these devices need to be charged and powered… And all this power needs to be generated… And the bulk of the electricity generated globally is still fossil-fuel based, with only a small percentage generated through renewable sources such as water and wind.

The purpose of ZeDay is to give the earth a ‘rest day’ – from biblical times, the idea of a day of rest at regular intervals was promoted as a good thing, and with the pace of life increasing to the point where we simply don’t slow down anymore, re-instituting the rest day concept is a very necessary. We all need a chance to shut down and reboot every now and then, and the same applies to the environment. The date of 21 September was selected to coincide with the United Nations International Day of Peace.

Take a break, and give Mother Nature a breather as well.
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Realistically, completely avoiding the consumption of any fossil-fuel generated energy for 24 hours is almost unthinkable – no driving, no cooking, no hot water, no computers, no TV, radio or Internet – and people who have done it have reported the experience to be ‘profoundly transformative’. Definitely something to strive towards – even if it’s too late to do it today, seeing that the day is already halfway through, nothing stops us from celebrating our own private ZeDay on any other date. In fact, if you can achieve more than one a year, even better. Admittedly many people will never quite go this far, but even if the day just acts as a reminder that we can all do our bit to limit our energy consumption in daily life, it would already be a victory for Mother Earth.

Go one, try it – imagine how good it’ll make you feel about yourself!

(OK, I should switch off now…)

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