On Saturday, 31 March at 8:30pm, The Travel Word team will proudly observe Earth Hour by shutting off lights for an hour.
From its already impressive one-city debut in Sydney, Australia, in 2007 – when as many as 2.2 million people and more than 2,000 businesses hit the swtich for 60 short minutes – Earth Hour this year expects that “hundreds of millions of people, businesses and governments around the world” will unite in support of the largest environmental event in history.
Already, participation this year is set to smash the numbers from Earth Hour 2011. People in a record 147 countries and territories are preparing to send a collective message – one that could impact more than 2 billion people – that now is the time to take action on climate change.
Landmarks Go Dark
Earth Hour isn’t just about individuals doing the right thing. This year scores of major monuments will join the cause. The Sydney Opera House, the Tokyo Tower and the Great Wall Of China in the East start a rolling spectacle that will take in Table Mountain in South Africa, the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre, Brandenburg Gate and the Cupola of St Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican in mainland Europe, Buckingham Palace, Tower Bridge, the Houses of Parliament and Big Ben in the UK, before sweeping across Christ the Redeemer Statue in Brazil and Times Square, the Empire State Building and even the Las Vegas Strip in North America.
Even United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has called on everyone to join the UN, which will turn off its lights in solidarity with the 20 percent of the world’s population that doesn’t have access to electricity. The Director General of UNESCO, Irina Bokova, has also suggested to all World Heritage sites that they switch off their lights.
New in 2012: People’s Postcode Lottery
New this year is the People’s Postcode Lottery, a community initiative to assist conservation ventures achieve great things for the planet. Bill Clinton has apparently called it “the best thing I’ve ever seen to involve ordinary people in charitable work.” Here’s a quick video about it.