Earth Hour kicks off at 8:30 p.m.
Around the world, people will shut off their lights at 8:30 p.m. on March 23 to mark Earth Hour, and some community members are encouraging Abbotsford residents to join the movement.
John Vissers, a local environmentalist, said it is important for people in Abbotsford to recognize and observe the symbolism of Earth Hour.
"It's not so much about saving energy as it is about making people think about where our energy comes from and how we use it."
He said many people take energy for granted, and Earth Hour gives people time to appreciate the quality of life in the Fraser Valley. He said people need to consider local issues that lead to the over-consumption of energy resources.
"One of the biggest problems in Abbotsford that we have is urban sprawl, and the energy consumption to support urban sprawl is unsustainable."
Vissers said the sprawl increases private vehicle use, making Abbotsford's use of public transportation among the lowest in Canada.
Coun. Patricia Ross said Earth Hour not only gives people a chance to turn out the lights, light some candles and spend time with friends or family, it is also a chance to think how energy is used. She said residents should think about their fuel sources and the alternatives, citing a proposed garbage incinerator that could be built in the Fraser Valley as a potential energy supply that will negatively effect the local environment.
"Energy use and the kind of fuel that we use is a huge contributor to pollution in the Fraser Valley."
Ross said Earth Hour is not about radical change, but showing how making small and slow modifications is an easy step towards conserving energy.
"Earth Hour is a really good exercise to demonstrate what a huge impact a little bit of modification in our daily habits can make."
BC Hydro reported that last year Abbotsford saw an increase in energy use of 0.93 per cent, while B.C.'s overall electricity load dropped by 1.67 per cent.
Last year during Earth Hour, British Columbians saved 121 megawatt hours of electricity and reduced the provincial electricity load by 1.67 per cent. That is the equivalent of turning off about 9 million 12.5-watt LED light bulbs.
The first Earth Hour was held in 2007 in Sydney, Australia, with about 2.2 million people participating. By 2008, the hour was recognized in more that 35 countries.
By 2012, people in 152 counties across the world participated, breaking records and becoming the largest voluntary action for the environment.