Earth hour — the 60 minutes where people turn off their electricity each year – will take place once again on Saturday beginning at 8:30 p.m.
The largest environmental grassroots movement worldwide aims to mobilize individuals, businesses and governments to help build a healthy, sustainable future — and planet — for all.
The Royal B.C. Museum will be flipping the switch to participate in the global event, organized by the World Wildlife Fund. The Fairmont Empress will be dimming their hotel lights in all the public guest spaces and in the Q restaurant and bar while offering acoustic music that is live and unplugged for Earth Hour.
The goal of getting people to turn off their lights worldwide was to unite and engage people on environmental issues and to protect the planet. The event began in Sidney, Australia in 2007 with 2.2 million individuals and 2,000 businesses turning off their lights. The event has since spread to over 185 countries and territories worldwide.
“Earth Hour is an opportunity to unplug and talk to our loved ones about the things that matter most — the planet, nature and wildlife are at the top of that list,” said Megan Leslie, president and CEO of World Wildlife Federation Canada. “At the end of the hour, when the lights come back on, we can power up, too, and bring renewed energy to making changes to our community, our businesses and governments to protect wildlife and restore nature.”
Over the past decade Earth Hour has resulted in the creation of a 3.5 million-hectare marine protected area in Argentina, a 2,700-hectare Earth Hour forest in Uganda, along with assisting in passing new legislation for the protection of seas and forest in Russia, and finally a move by French Polynesia to protect five million square kilometers of its seas to preserve ocean ecosystems.
Global wildlife populations have declined on average 60 per cent in just over 40 years. In Canada, populations of more than one-half of monitored species have already declined by 83 per cent since 1970, with the main causes cited as habitat loss, pollution, unsustainable harvest, invasive species and climate change.
Here are a few other ways you can help encourage energy conservation:
- Using energy-efficient light bulbs can use two-thirds less energy than standard incandescent light bulbs and last up to 10 times longer.
- Unplug your electronics. Large TVs and other home electronics draw a small amount of power even when turned off, unplugging them saves you money and wastes less energy.
- Use your ceiling fans properly. Fans should rotate counter-clockwise in the summer, pulling hot air up, reverse the setting in winter to push hot air down.
- Install low-flow fixtures for your showers and toilets, and fix leaky faucets and running toilets.
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