Each year, summer in the UAE has scorching temperatures, the result of which is the exceedingly increased use of electrical appliances to help beat the heat. Monitoring this trend for the past many years, the Sharjah Electricity and Water Authority (Sewa) announced that on July 1, the hour between 2.30 to 3.30pm will be commemorated as ‘Peak Hour’, where all residents are encouraged to switch off all their lights, fans, airconditioning units and other electrical appliances.
This year, we celebrated this event in a unique manner. Our youth group, Serve The Earth, got more than 40 families together at the Al Nakheel Oasis, a park in Sharjah, during the peak hour.
All the participants confirmed that all electrical devices at their homes were switched off. They huddled to support Sewa and take part in the three essential motives behind the idea of this campaign. First was to debunk the myth that most children maintain that there’s blistering heat outdoors. Second, to spread awareness about the importance of spending time with Nature and third, but most importantly, to increase awareness about effects of saving electricity not just during peak hours, but on a regular basis.
Diya Thakur, who initiated the idea of the commemoration, said: “Today’s children are slowly turning into ‘eco-sapiens’, which is a new terminology coming up for ecologically aware conservationists.”
During the event, a fan-making competition was organised, where children made fans from recycled or discarded material. These also served the purpose of beating the heat during the hour. They made use of tea light candle shells, plastic bottles, leaves and even ice cream sticks.
Mahika Agarkar, a pupil who came from Dubai along with her brother, made a fan out of old plastic bottle caps, cardboard from discarded cartons and otherwise discarded decorative material.
She said: “Conserving our resources is the need of the hour and such events definitely remind us of that.”
Lisha Thakur, another pupil who participated in the event, said: “My fan was made from dried leaves of the date palm tree, that grows in my home’s garden. It is of immense utility.”
Anjum Hasan, a teacher based in Sharjah, applauded the children on their eco-friendliness and environmental awareness.
Amidst the sunny weather and yet a slight breeze, the tech-savvy generation realised that sometimes, it’s best to slow down, and be one with Nature and engage in productive activity, the entire cycle of which serves multiple benefits to the environment and to one’s personality.
In a nutshell, the event turned out to be successful, with all the basic motives achieved. Hence, I encourage all readers to spend their vacation by visiting beaches and parks, not only during the peak hour but also during mornings and evenings, thus saving electricity whilst being one with Nature. It is imperative that just like the internationally celebrated Earth Hour, we commemorate Peak Hour as well, with full heart and fervour, with just as much consistency.
— The reader is a student based in Sharjah.
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