Celebrating its ninth year, Earth Hour 2015 takes place Saturday, March 28, between 8:30 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. with Environment Minister Mary Polak calling on British Columbians to take part in this symbolic global event.
Earth Hour encourages people to conserve energy by turning off lights and electronics for one hour. British Columbians participating can celebrate the hour by having a candlelight dinner, talking to neighbours, stargazing, camping, playing board games — the possibilities are endless.
During last year’s Earth Hour, the province saved 65 megawatt hours of electricity and reduced the provincial electricity load by 1% — the equivalent of turning off about 1.4 million lights. The cities with the highest reduction in energy use were Whistler and Esquimalt with 6%. Last year, 69 B.C. communities, countless businesses and thousands of citizens took part in this 60-minute event.
Earth Hour has grown to become the world’s biggest mass participation event in history according to the World Wildlife Fund. This year, British Columbians will join their counterparts in six continents, 120 countries and 24 time zones in turning off their lights and powering down.
The City of Vancouver has been named the 2015 National Earth Hour Capital by the World Wildlife Fund. The city is recognized for being a leader in sustainability and innovation within energy efficiency. Vancouver was also awarded this distinction in 2013.
As in previous years, the B.C. government will turn off lights in all provincial government buildings wherever it is safe and reasonable to do so. Most noticeably, the Jubilee lighting at the parliament buildings in Victoria will be extinguished as a highly visible demonstration of support for Earth Hour.
The World Wildlife Fund originated Earth Hour in Sydney, Australia in 2007. It is a worldwide grassroots movement uniting people to raise awareness around a broad range of environmental issues. Earth Hour began as a lights-off event and has grown over the past nine years to include more than 7,000 cities and towns worldwide.
Mary Polak, Environment Minister -
“I urge all British Columbians to join me in celebrating Earth Hour. By turning off lights and electronics to reduce the amount of wasted energy, we can set a positive example for current and future generations. The success of this global movement is proof that when people come together with a common goal, results can be seen worldwide.”
According to BC Hydro:
- British Columbia has saved 701 megawatt hours total by participating in Earth Hour since 2008.
- The top five communities in B.C. for overall power savings in 2014 were Whistler, Esquimalt, Lytton, Lumby and Victoria.
According to the World Wildlife Fund:
- Earth Hour is scheduled 8:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. local time around the globe because it is the closest hour to sunset in both hemispheres, allowing for the biggest visual impact of lights out everywhere.
- Earth Hour 2014 took place in more than 7,000 cities and towns in 162 countries and territories worldwide.
- Key international landmarks that participated in 2014:
- Jubilee Lights at the parliament buildings in Victoria
- Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco
- Empire State Building in New York
- Space Needle in Seattle
- Eiffel Tower in France
- Sydney Opera House in Australia
BC Hydro’s Power Smart: www.bchydro.com/powersmart
BC Hydro’s Earth Hour website: www.bchydro.com/earthhour
LiveSmart BC: www.livesmartbc.ca
WWF Earth Hour Canada website: www.wwf.ca/events/earthhour/
Ministry of Environment