At 8:30pm on Saturday, March 26th, it starts by switching off the lights. Earth Hour will be celebrated around the world.
It’s a simple act – cutting one hour of power from your life – but it shows solidarity, makes you think about consumption, and emphasizes the importance of conservation.
This year the theme is Turn Out the Lights Go Beyond the Hour. The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) has created a site where anyone can ‘add their act’ to an interactive web page. Some posts include a library who is encouraging everyone to borrow books instead of buying new ones, a teenager who pledges to use both sides of her paper when taking notes and someone who will pick up trash for an hour Saturday morning.
The Chinese Government has supported Earth Hour in years past, by switching off some of its famous landmarks – like Olympic Stadium here in Beijing. The Westin Beijing has pledged to go lights out this year; so has the Kempinski Hotel.
The Schoolhouse will also be shutting off the lights, but other venues in Beijing have yet to confirm.
It would be nice if they would shut off some of the street lights in Beijing for Earth Hour, along with the excessive lighting on many skyscraper facades. Sometimes it feels like they built the Three Gorges Dam just so we could light this city up like a Christmas village.
One thing to note though: many believe that burning candles during Earth Hour is actually worse for the environment than using lightbulbs – notwithstanding the positive effect that increased awareness regarding energy consumption will have.
Also, here’s a blog post about what candles are good, and what ones are bad to burn.
Earth Hour started in Sydney, Australia in 2007 when 2.2 million people and over 2000 businesses stood up against over-consumption. 2010 was the biggest Earth Hour ever, with a record 128 countries participating. How big will 2011 be? You can help make it the biggest yet.