Your online communications may be quick and convenient, but they are part of a global infrastructure that consumes vast amounts of energy and resources.
On March 27, Pizza Hut asked its customers to do an unusual thing. For one hour, between 8.30pm and 9.30pm, customers in the UAE and Oman were asked to turn off their wi-fi. In return, the pizza company would enter those that did into a draw to win free pizza.
Quite why an international pizza brand would ask their customers to go offline – and why those customers would agree – is difficult to understand. But the initiative makes more sense when you consider that 8.30-9.30pm on March 27 was Earth Hour, an annual time when people around the world are asked by the WWF to turn off their lights to show support for environmental issues and a commitment to the planet.
“Since it’s kind of hard to eat pizza in the dark,” Beverley D’Cruz, Chief Brand Officer for Pizza Hut in the Middle East and Africa, told AdWeek, “this year we wanted to encourage people to support a great cause in a different, but just as impactful, way.”
While the Pizza Hut initiative was designed to raise awareness of Earth Hour amongst its customers – who were unable to turn out the lights of the restaurant they were dining in – it also neatly highlights another significant drain on the planet’s resources and energy supplies: digital networks and devices.