Many think Earth Hour should happen monthly: poll
OTTAWA - A new survey suggests most Canadians think Earth Hour should happen more often.
In fact, the Harris-Decima poll suggests more than a third of Canadians wouldn't mind flicking off their lights and appliances for an hour as often as once a month.
Another third would prefer to mark Earth Hour once a year, while 10 per cent would do it each week, 12 per cent once a day and nine per cent want the idea scrapped entirely.
More than half of those surveyed say they reduced their energy use on March 29 during Earth Hour, an initiative to highlight the link between power consumption and climate change.
Earth Hour started last year in Sydney, Australia and became a global event this year.
The poll of 1,000 Canadians was conducted from April 3 to 6, and is considered accurate within plus or minus 3.1 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.
Canadians embraced the World Wildlife Fund initiative, with more than 100,000 Canadians registering online and another 775,000 joining a Facebook group.
"Earth Hour truly went viral, as they say. We offered an idea that got taken up. Essentially, what that means is this hit something that resonated deeply with people,'' said WWF communications director Josh Laughren.
Harris-Decima president Bruce Anderson says events like Earth Hour allow people to feel like they're making a difference through a small individual act.
"What's really changing in terms of attitudes toward the environment is the sense of personal responsibility that a lot of people feel,'' he said.
"So there's a very strong desire, almost a sense of personal, moral imperative, to try to do something better, to try to do less harm.''
Regionally, Ontarians were the biggest participants, with 73 per cent saying they reduced their energy use. Everywhere else, participation hovered around the 46 per cent mark.
Women were more likely than men to take part.
Those aged 50 or older reported slightly higher participation than people between 35 and 49 years old and 18 and 34 years old.
Along political lines, supporters of the Green party (69 per cent) and the Liberals (64 per cent) were the biggest participants, followed by the NDP (58 per cent), the Conservatives (53 per cent) and the Bloc Quebecois (39 per cent).
Earth Hour events took place in more than two dozen major cities and numerous smaller communities -- about 150 of them in Canada.