MARCH 28, 2009 — SATURDAY — 8:30 PM — ONE HOUR — LIGHTS OUT!!! Over 930 cities and towns in 80 countries, across 25 time zones are expected to power down for Earth Hour 2009.
This year, it is being taken to another level. The Earth Hour website describes how it has evolved since it first started in 2007:
Earth Hour began in Sydney in 2007, when 2.2 million homes and businesses switched off their lights for one hour. In 2008 the message had grown into a global sustainability movement, with 50 million people switching off their lights. Global landmarks such as the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, Rome’s Colosseum, the Sydney Opera House and the Coca Cola billboard in Times Square all stood in darkness.
In 2009, Earth Hour is being taken to the next level, with the goal of 1 billion people switching off their lights as part of a global vote. Unlike any election in history, it is not about what country you’re from, but instead, what planet you’re from. VOTE EARTH is a global call to action for every individual, every business, and every community. A call to stand up and take control over the future of our planet. Over 74 countries and territories have pledged their support to VOTE EARTH during Earth Hour 2009, and this number is growing everyday.
We all have a vote, and every single vote counts. Together we can take control of the future of our planet, for future generations.
VOTE EARTH by simply switching off your lights for one hour, and join the world for Earth Hour.
This will be my second year to participate in Earth Hour. Last year, we turned off our lights at home at exactly 8:30PM Manila time to join the numerous countries doing so.
New Zealand will be the first country to turn its lights off and over the next 24 hours, we will see a wave of lights going off in the different time zones of Earth. Manila is a participant in this event, with Rizal Park and Manila Cathedral poised to turn off its lights and countdown events happen in different areas of the metropolis.The Earth Hour site describes Manila’s participation:
Last year in the Philippines, millions of people switched off their lights to signal their support of this global warming action. Manila, being the largest city, will be a big focus this year and Earth Hour continues to spread its positive message about the importance of energy saving. The Department of Energy in the Philippines is a supporter of the Earth Hour campaign.
Local businesses in Manila are contributing to Earth Hour and will be switching off their lights on the night. Thousands of people, around the Philippines, will be coming together to light a candle in support of this global warming awareness initiative.
See the Earth Hour Global Timing Schedule HERE.
(Update, 3/19): I am happy to note that not only Manila will be participating. This article shows that Earth Hour will be observed nationwide.)
What can YOU do to participate in Earth Hour 2009?
1. Register your vote with Earth Hour and join in the bid to reach 1 billion votes for Mother Earth. Sign up here.
2. Write a blog post about Earth Hour’s Vote Earth movement. The results of the election will be presented at the Global Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen 2009, so help get the world talking! Tag your blog so others can join in, with tags like ‘VOTE EARTH’, ‘Earth Hour’, ‘Copenhagen’, and ‘global warming’.
3. Email your friends. Encourage them to email their friends and so on. Before you know it, you would have created a ripple of votes for Earth.
4. Twitter it. Say as much as you can about VOTE EARTH in 140 characters. In the countdown to Earth Hour, you can let others know about what you’re up to every step of the way. Make sure you include ‘#VOTEEARTH’ in all tweets so others can follow your messages.
5. On March 28, record your Earth Hour experience. Take a photo about Earth Hour and post it on their Flickr group. Make a video of the event and post it on their YouTube group. Write a live blog post during the event and tag it earthhour or voteearth. Update your Twitter status on the night and tag it #earthhour or #voteearth.
Here is the official Earth Hour 2009 video: