Lights out for renewable energy

Earth Hour light

Earth hour returns on Saturday 23 March at 8:30pm. This year, Earth Hour is asking Australians to switch off for good by switching to renewable energy.

At 8:30pm, buildings and landmarks across the nation will plunge into darkness.

The Sydney Opera House, the Arts Centre Melbourne and Council House in Perth will be showing their commitment to renewable energy by glowing deep green on the night. According to Earth Hour, this will all be powered by 100 percent GreenPower.

Aussie ambassadors such as John Hewson and Magdalena Roze are joining the thousands of Australians who have pledged to switch to renewables. Local mayors such as Clover Moore in Sydney and Lisa Scaffidi in Perth have also become ambassadors for the cause.

Millions of people across 152 countries will also be expected to support the event by switching off their lights.

Global ambassadors like Miranda Kerr and Jessica Alba are behind the campaign this year.

“Each of us has a responsibility for the sustainability of our planet and each of us can make a difference if we choose to do so. I am pleased to be a global Ambassador for Earth Hour this year… together we can make a difference,” said Miranda Kerr on the WWF website.

Earth Hour started in Sydney only seven years ago. Today events and actions are taking place in many of the 152 countries that participate.

• In 2013, the Russia Earth Hour team is on their way to securing 100,000 signatures from Russian citizens to petition for a ban on industrial logging in an area of land equal to twice the size of France.

• In Africa, the first Earth Hour Forest has begun in the nation of Uganda. This is an important first step in the fight against the 6,000 hectares of deforestation that occurs in the country every month. WWF Uganda identified close to 2,700 hectares of degraded land, and has set a goal to fill it with at least 500,000 indigenous trees as part of their Earth Hour 2013 campaign.

• In Botswana, former President Mr Festus Mogae has made a four year commitment to plant one million indigenous trees as part of his I Will If You Will challenge.

• Across Latin America, preparations for ‘La Hora Del Planeta’ are underway with the Argentinian Earth Hour organisers and WWF affiliate Fundación Vida Silvestre Argentina. Thousands of participants will help champion the passing of a Senate bill to make Banco Burwood the biggest Marine Protected Area (MPA) in the country.

• In the USA, nearly 35,000 girls scouts took part in Earth Hour last year through the Save Energy Project. They installed 132,141 energy efficient light bulbs across the country. The impact is a staggering 75,392,654 pounds of CO2 emissions eliminated, which is equivalent to planting 7,286 acres of trees per year.

Such events and actions across the globe are inspiring new participants in Earth Hour to get involved from Libya to Swaziland.

Remember to turn off your lights at 8:30pm this Saturday 23 March.