by ecorazzicontributor
Categories: Causes, Events, Internet
Tags: , , , .
Photo: WWF / Neill Miller

Perhaps no environmental campaign has more global reach than Earth Hour, which calls for cities around the globe to shut off as many lights and electronic equipment as possible for one hour each year. But Toronto resident and Earth Hour enthusiast Angie Bird has an idea to expand Earth Hour awareness even further: shut down Facebook.

Just reading those three words might send a chill up the spine of some of the bigger Facebook addicts out there. An hour without Facebook? How will the world survive? How?!

But Bird might be on to something: Facebook has over 500 million users worldwide, having passed that milestone back in July of 2010. What better way could there be to alert the world to the message of Earth Hour than to shut down Facebook? The powering down of the social media giant’s custom server center would save a massive amount of energy of course (there are thousands of servers at the center that keep Facebook running that use coal power for some of their energy use), but the biggest benefit would simply be the publicity, especially if Facebook put up a custom 404 page explaining the reason for the service outage.

Bird doesn’t think that she’s asking a lot from the average Facebook user: “It’ll be character-building,” said the native Australian. “They’ll have amazing things to update their status about, if they get through it.”

But Jackie Cohen, editor of allfacebook.com, raises an important point: advertisers would have to agree to the idea, and they’re not too likely to do so. “No way are they going to say yes to that. It’s so bad for business,” said Cohen. As of yet, Mark Zuckerberg and his Facebook team have not responded.

Earth Hour will be taking place this year at 8:30pm on Saturday, March 26th. Be sure to mark your calendars and switch off as many lights and other energy-using devices as you can for that hour if you want to be a part of the international campaign participated in over more than 120 countries worldwide. For more Earth Hour photos or to learn more about the event, be sure to check out their website or our very own slideshow of before and after photos from 2010.