Now in its 10th year, Earth Hour is a global event during which environmentalists in countries around the world are encouraged to turn off non-essential lights for one hour from 8.30 pm to 9.30 pm.
The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) urges people around the world to turn off non-essential lights for one hour from 8.30 pm to 9.30 pm on 19 March 2016.
Earth Hour is a worldwide grass roots movement aimed at bringing awareness to environmental concerns such as climate change and global warming.
Earth Hour was first held in Sydney, Australia, in 2007. Since then, it has evolved into a worldwide phenomenon.
Hundreds of millions of people around the world in 7,000 cities in 172 countries turned off their lights during Earth Hour in 2015.
The Empire State Building in New York City; the Gateway Arch in St. Louis, Missouri; the National Cathedral in Washington, DC; the Space Needle in Seattle, Washington; and the casinos along the Las Vegas Strip in Nevada were among the hundreds if not thousands of spots around the United States that went dark for one hour.
In the United Kingdom, landmarks such as Beg Ben, Windsor Castle, Old Trafford, and Harrods turned off non-essential lights.
Earth Hour in Hong Kong
Just how effective is the initiative? During Earth Hour in Hong Kong in 2015, electricity dropped by an estimated 4.08%.
More than 3,900 companies and buildings have pledged to turn out non-essential lights this year, including 310 primary and secondary schools and all of the SAR’s tertiary institutions.
Hotels around the world are among the most enthusiastic supporters of the initiative, turning off non-essential lights for one hour during earth hour.
For many hotels, this forms part of an overall commitment to corporate social responsibility.
At the Royal Plaza on Scotts Singapore, for example, guests will be asked to switch off unused electronic devices and lights in their rooms.
Diners having dinner at Carousel, the hotel’s popular buffet restaurant will also be asked to light soy candles at their tables.
It’s interesting that the World Wildlife Fund in Britain has suggested having bonfires on the beach as one of the ways people can celebrate Earth Hour.
In California, where bonfires on the beach are a time honoured tradition, environmentalists have been lobbying against the practice because they say it contributes to air pollution and global warming.
In Hong Kong, meanwhile, it seems a bit ludicrous that primary and secondary schools will turn off their lights for an hour on a Saturday night.
Unless an event were taking place, why would non-essential lights at a primary or secondary school be turned on on a Saturday night in the first place?