Friday, March 27, 2009
Cities around the world will participate in Earth Hour on Saturday, turning off their lights to raise awareness for energy conservation.
You might remember that last year we “turned the lights out” on the Google.com homepage during Earth Hour to symbolize our own commitment to sustainability. We won’t be turning out the lights on our homepage again this year. Our users come first, and while we received lots of enthusiastic feedback last year, some found an all-black Google.com to be a little confusing. (Also, darkened screens don’t actually save energy — modern displays use the same amount of power regardless of what they display.) We are actively supporting this year's Vote Earth, an Earth Hour 2009 initiative to gather one billion words to present at the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen in December of this year. Participants can share their opinions about climate change through the Earth Connect social platform which incorporates Google tools including Google Maps, App Engine, Friend Connect, Google Translate, Blogger and Feedburner.
After all, Earth Hour is about more than dimming lights; it’s about making a commitment to reduce energy consumption throughout the year. At Google, we take this commitment seriously and over the past twelve months we’ve worked hard to reduce Google’s own power use and to help others reduce theirs:
- We remodeled our San Francisco office to achieve a Gold rating by the U.S. Green Building Council's LEED Green Building Rating System
- Our engineers are working on a tool called Google PowerMeter that will show consumers home energy information almost in real time, right on their computer
- We’ve designed the most efficient data centers possible and are sharing some of our best practices with industry peers
- In the fall we compiled tips and tricks to help our users save energy (and money)
- Our summit on plug-in vehicles in Washington was standing room only, with policy, technology, and energy experts all discussing an electric vehicle future