From Times Square to the Sydney Opera House, Brunei to Lithuania, the world’s tallest building, the Burj Khalifa, to the Leaning Tower in Pisa in Italy, the world is once again celebrating the largest global voluntary initiative for the environment. Ah yes, Earth Hour encourages environmentally minded citizens everywhere to unplug the power and go green for a short but sweet hour of their lives once a year.
The Eiffel Tower before and after 'Earth Hour'
Held annually at the end of March, this event has grown from a one-city initiative to a 5,251- city strong global movement – reaching 1.8 billion people in 135 countries across all seven continents last year.
So What is Earth Hour?
Earth Hour is a global environmental initiative in partnership with WWF and advertising company Leo Burnett. Individuals, businesses, governments, communities and globally minded citizens everywhere are encouraged to turn out their lights for one hour on Saturday March 31, 2012 at 8:30 PM in a bid to show their support for environmentally sustainable action.
This year, Earth Hour’s “I Will If You Will” theme, goes even one step further, asking individuals and organizations to challenge their friends to take the ‘no light’ initiative beyond the standard one hour.
In addition, an entire You Tube campaign has been launched, showing clips of brave people who go to great lengths to encourage participation in the event– check it out: http://www.youtube.com/earthhour.
Earth Hour began in Sydney, Australia in 2007 when 2.2 million residents participated by turning off all non-essential lights. Following Sydney’s lead, many cities around the world adopted the event and by 2011 it had reached the status as the World’s largest single campaign for the planet.
A view of Sydney, Australia before and after 'Earth Hour'
Canada’s Efforts are Pretty Impressive, EH? (EH: Earth Hour; Get It?)
In 2011, Canada’s Earth Hour cities grew substantially with an impressive roll-call of 422 cities, municipalities and towns taking part. In addition, Another 73 universities and 30 major landmarks from across the country including the CN Tower, Parliament Buildings, Niagara Falls and the Lions Gate Bridge, took part too.
In the lead up to last year’s event, WWF announced the top 10 ‘greenest’ Canadian cities leading the battle against climate change. Each city was ranked out of 10 points, based on specific, climate-change related indicators, including: greenhouse gas emission reduction, municipal greenhouse gas reduction targets, renewable energy, green building and green transportation.
Vancouver was the clear leader, with a score of 8.1 out of 10, with Toronto and Montreal close behind, further spurring more Canadians to do their part in the coming years.
A view of Canada Place in Vancouver during 'Earth Hour'
Since it first started in 2007, Sutton has been a big supporter of this global movement and participates in every way that we can, primarily by turning off the lights in the building and inviting hotel guests to do the same in their private suites. We also encourage everyone to switch off all non-essential lighting, computers, televisions and appliances during the hour – something that may seem impossible at first – but in the end, shows everyone how we can actually survive quite pleasantly without our technology if we try.
John Sandor, Vice President of The Sutton Place Hotel Company, is proud of his hotels commitment to the cause and says of the event: “Climate change is the biggest environmental threat to our planet. Participating in Earth Hour is a simple way for us to show that we want to be a part of the solution and it sends a powerful message – which is: together, we can make a difference.”
This year Sutton Hotel Vancouver is going one step further by offering an exclusive ‘Earth Friendly’ dinner menu by candlelight in their Fleuri Restaurant, utilizing sustainable seafood and fresh, local, responsibly farmed produce. It was even mentioned in the Metro Vancouver paper today – did you see?
Doing your duty for the environment while eating delicious food; What more could you ask for?
How can YOU Help?
It’s easy! All you need to do is switch off your lights from 8:30 PM – 9:30 PM on Saturday, March 31st (local time) – besides, candlelight is so romantic anyways!
Don't forget to 'switch off' tomorrow!