This evening, I joined a few fellow volunteers from ECO Singapore to commemorate the first-ever Earth Hour. We trooped down to the office of Yolk, which was also the venue for the monthly Green Drinks session. We arrived at 7pm and were disappointed to find out that the food we were promised to partake in consisted only of free drinks. Nonetheless, I helped myself to a beer.
Earth Hour is a grassroots effort (i.e. no official governmental support) encouraging people of the world to turn off unneeded lights (and other electrical devices) for one hour from 8pm. The idea, if I got it correctly, was that our minute individual contributions would add up to an enormous savings in terms of greenhouse pollution.
Green Drinks, on the other hand, is a monthly networking session to bring together like-minded individuals. For tonight, it was held in conjunction with Earth Hour and also the launch of the second edition of Harboiled Magazine, an online magazine on social causes, which are not necessarily about the environment (though this issue was dedicated to that topic). Apparently, it's the brainchild of local digital agency, Yolk, which office was also the venue for Green Drinks.
I chatted with a few people (okay, I mostly listened to others) and was also interviewed later for MediaCorp Radio's NewsRadio 93.8. Questions included what I thought about Earth Hour and why it was such a relevant cause.
His most critical question was probably about why there was no apparent support by government or businesses, unlike in Sydney where the city was in darkness for an hour. My response, which I thought was the most sensible explanation, was that this was a grassroots effort that depended entirely on whether people wanted to make the effort or not. My implication was that Singaporeans still have a long way to go, and we require baby steps that can be agonizingly slow.
By 10pm, most of us were tired and hungry, so we left the party. Overall, I thought that this Green Drinks session wasn't as successful as expected. I suppose the free drinks and relationship of the attendees to Yolk also affected the outcome. As a fellow volunteer said, most people were there either to drink free beer or pick up chicks. Hopefully, subsequent Green Drinks will have better results.
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