by Alex Skerdzhev
Langley City and Township residents will be switching off lights and electronics to celebrate the annual international Earth Hour on Saturday, March 19.
The global event encouraging people to show support for climate change action is scheduled to take place between 8:30 p.m. and 9:30 p.m.
“An hour without electricity reminds us of our growing dependence on technology and the importance of being mindful of our impact on the planet,” said Environmental Minister Mary Polak in a press release.
“We can all make the choices necessary to use less.”
Last year saw B.C. save over 15 megawatt hours of electricity in just the one hour, reducing the provincial electricity load by 0.2 per cent, which amounts to switching off almost 680,000 LED light bulbs.
Whistler and Invermere were the highest energy reducers within the province during last year’s Earth Hour, saving 7.2 per cent and 6.7 per cent, respectively.
The provincial government will be showing its support for the initiative by shutting off the Jubilee Lights at the Parliament Buildings in Victoria, and overall 170 provincial government offices will be powering off all non-essential light and power sources.
B.C. has saved over 700 megawatt hours in total through its participation in Earth Hour over the years since 2008.
Worldwide, over 7,000 cities in 24 time zones are expected to participate this year, with last year’s celebration witnessing the shutting off of international landmarks such as the Colosseum in Italy, Eiffel Tower, Niagara Falls on both sides of the border, and St. Peter’s Bascilla in Vatican City, Italy.
Earth Hour was started in Sydney, Australia, in 2007 by the World Wildlife Fund in order to raise awareness about the effects of climate change.
For more information on energy savings, visit www.bchydro.com/index. To learn more about Earch Hour Canada, visit www.wwf.ca/events/earthhour.
Lastly, to participate in the second round of public consultations on the development of B.C.’s new Climate Leadership Plan, go to engage.gov.bc.ca/climateleadership.