A race to save the planet

March 16, 2015

Business students organize first annual Earth Hour Race

IMAGE_STORY_Earth_Hour_RaceIf you’re on campus this Saturday, you’ll see teams of people rushing up and down the stairs and racing around obstacles to get to their next challenge. How is that different from any other day, you might ask? This time, they’re not hurrying from class to class—they’re working together to build awareness that will create a real environmental impact as part of Earth Hour Race 2015.

Organized by MacEwan University Bachelor of Commerce students in assistant professor Leo Wong’s Intro to Non-Profit Management course, the event is about building buzz for a new Earth Hour Edmonton initiative that will help people make the most of their environmental activities.

How? All will be revealed at the Earth Hour Race.

The first of what will become an annual event, the Amazing Race-style event will have up to 70 teams of two completing 12 fun environmental challenges—everything from building a solar-powered light bulb to racing against the clock in a stair-climbing sprint. Each challenge demonstrates an easy way to make changes that can have a positive impact on the environment and everyone is welcome to participate—students, faculty, staff and the general public.

But the announcement of a new tool developed by Computer Science faculty members and students at the university is the real motivation behind the event. It’s part of the reason why the Earth Hour Race is happening a full week before the world shuts off the lights between 8:30 and 9:30 p.m. on March 28.

Students hope to generate excitement and publicity that will ultimately help promote Earth Hour 2015 and encourage people to record and challenge their everyday actions.

“I see Earth Hour as a misleading name—it implies that we should care about the Earth for only one hour of the year,” says Jordan Bagan, one of the students helping organize the event. “I hope the new tool we’re launching will change this and remind people that Earth Hour isn’t just a one-hour event on a single day, but something we all need to do 24/7, 365 days a year, to keep our planet healthy.”

Stay tuned for more information on how you can access the new tool early next week. Or be among the first to know by signing up for the Earth Hour Race. The deadline to register is March 19.

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