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article image'Earth Hour' to be celebrated worldwide

By Adeline Yuboco     Mar 25, 2011 in Environment
It's lights out all over the world between 8:30 and 9:30 Saturday night as millions of people across the planet marks the celebration of the fourth annual 'Earth Hour.'
The movement will kick off beginning in the Fiji Islands in the Pacific, New Zealand and Australia before making its way into Asia, Europe Africa, and the Americas.
Many cities will be hosting a series of events to keep the general public pre-occupied as the lights are turned off for 60 minutes in all residential, business and tourist establishments worldwide.
At the Westin in Ottawa, Canada, guests will be treated to a cooking demo where they will be shown how to make grilled cheese sandwiches by simply using candlelight to heat the pan.
The Earth Lounge—a restaurant located in Gurgaon, India—the dining area will be lit with candlelight where diners and guests can enjoy a series of specially designed cocktails and mocktails that will be served only during 'Earth Hour.' A portion of the earnings made from the sales will then be donated to Greenpeace India, according to Earth Lounge's General Manager Anand Prakash.
In Southern California, the Queen Mary—a popular landmark located along Long Beach—will host a free event beginning at 7:00pm local time in celebration of 'Earth Hour' on the ship's Verandah Grill At exactly 8:30pm local time, the Queen Mary will sound its horn to signal the start of 'Earth Hour' before all the lights on this iconic Californian landmark will be turned off. An 'unplugged' musical performance will be showcased onboard the ship.
The Philippines, which has topped participation levels in the previous two 'Earth Hour' celebrations, residential, commercial and business establishments across the nation have committed to switching off their lights on Saturday evening. A free, low-carbon, energy-efficient concert is scheduled to take place along the grounds of SM Mall of Asia to celebrate the event in Pasay City while in the Makati Central Business District, a ceremonial countdown starting at 7:00pm local time will be held at the Ayala Triangle Park, led by Makati Mayor Jejomar Erwin Binay. Firetrucks and patrol cars will sound their sirens and local churches within the city will sound their bells to signal the beginning of 'Earth Hour.'
Others cities have decided to celebrate 'Earth Hour' through more solemn events. In Sydney and other cities, the people will hold a minute of silence to remember the victims of the devastating earthquake and tsunami that struck Japan earlier this month which left more than 25,000 people dead and many more still missing.
'Earth Hour' was initiated by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF)—an environmental conservation organization whose mission for the past 45 years has been to protect the future of nature. It was an event that was designed to serve as a symbolic act to raise public awareness all over the world about everyday energy consumption. What started as an energy-saving event locally staged in Sydney back in 2007, has grown into a worldwide phenomenon involving millions of people in over 4,000 cities in 128 countries all over the world.
"We didn't imagine right at the beginning…it would be on the scale that it is now," 'Earth Hour' co-founder and chief executive Andy Ridley said.
He pointed to social medial networking sites such as Facebook gave a vital contribution to the movement's success, which he described to be an "incredibly powerful tool" in bringing people together to think about what they can do to reduce harmful carbon emissions that cause the rising temperatures experienced worldwide.
More about Earth hour, climate change awareness, World wildlife fund, turn lights off, raise public awareness
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