Earth Hour: Protecting our planet

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Saturday, March 29, 2014

AT EXACTLY 8:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. today, March 29, most of the homes and business establishments of the world’s 196 countries will turn off their lights for the Global Earth Hour.

The Earth Hour enjoins everyone to turn off their lights for an hour every last Saturday of March to closely coincide with the equinox when day and night are of equal length.

An initiative of the World Wide Fund (WWF) for Nature, the Earth Hour is a worldwide movement uniting individuals, families, communities, and business establishments to protect the planet through a symbolic switch-off of lights to symbolize their commitment to the planet and to remind the people of the need to preserve a sustainable Earth.


This year’s theme is “Use your Power.”

Bacolod City and Negros Occidental are joining the rest of the world in the observance of Earth Hour today.

Fely Altalaguire of the Earth Hour core group in Bacolod is urging residents to campaign for more households and sectors to take part in this one-hour annual activity that aims to raise the people’s awareness on the state of the global environment.

An Earth Hour tree-planting activity is scheduled today at 6 a.m. in Barangay Punta Taytay.

SM City Bacolod will once again host the Earth Hour ceremonies starting at 5:30 p.m. where participants of Earth Hour Walk coming from the Provincial Capitol Lagoon converge in the mall.

At 6:30 p.m. film showings of environmental advocacy will be shown, followed by presentation of results from commitments pledged from past Earth Hour activities.

About 1,000 candles will be lit at the giant Earth Hour centerpiece.

The program’s highlight is the ceremonial lights off at 8:30 p.m. until 9:30 p.m. by invited guests.

There will performances from the Batukada Drummers and Fire Dancers, various schools and universities, and the US Peace Corps during the lights out.

Attending the ceremonies at SM City Bacolod are Vice Mayor Greg Gasataya, and Councilors Wilson Gamboa Jr., Em Ang, Archie Baribar, and Cesar Distrito.

Kirby Mariano of SM said 47 other SM Supermalls in the Philippines and six SM malls in China are joining the Earth Hour to inspire everyone to take a stand on the indiscriminate threat of global warming and make a commitment to a low-carbon lifestyle.

Meanwhile, Senator Loren Legarda said the Earth Hour campaign highlights the fact that “small acts can create big, significant changes.”

Legarda, chair of the Senate Committees on Climate Change and Environment and Natural Resources, said that oftentimes people are overwhelmed with the gargantuan task of protecting the environment, without realizing that the small acts ignite greater action and result in significant achievements.

The Earth Hour began in Sydney, Australia in 2007. The following year, the WWF launched the Earth Hour internationally. More than 400 cities in 35 countries, including the Philippines, joined the campaign. In 2013, more than 7,000 cities were involved.

In 2009 alone, 647 cities and towns in the Philippines and an estimated 15 million Filipinos participated in the Earth Hour, saving 611 megawatt-hours of electricity during the one-hour period. (With PIA report)

Published in the Sun.Star Bacolod newspaper on March 29, 2014.


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