Calgary Getting Ready For Earth Hour

by Editor

The city of Calgary has a number of Earth Hour events planned.  The residents have been asked to minimise energy consumption for 1-hour tonight.  Calgary will be shutting off lights to many parts of the city.  A number of downtown businesses are taking part and plan to switch off all non-essential lighting.

Source: Calgary Herald

Candles Are a Must During Earth Hour

Eco-minded Calgarians will join millions of people around the globe on Saturday night as they dim their lights in support of Earth Hour.

Organized by the World Wildlife Fund, Earth Hour aims to raise awareness about global warming by encouraging individuals to reduce their own energy consumption for one hour on the last Saturday in March. This year’s Earth Hour will take place from 8:30 to 9:30 p.m. local time.

The City of Calgary will be shutting off the lights at many of its facilities, including its Water Centre, Manchester and Whitehorn buildings, the Langevin Bridge, Prince’s Island riverwalk and all fire stations.

Many downtown businesses have also indicated plans to turn off all non-essential lights at 8:30 p.m.

Local non-profit organization Ecoliving Events will welcome the public to an Earth Hour celebration starting at 8 p.m. at the Calgary Area Outdoor Council facility at 1111 Memorial Dr. N.W.

Participants will sit in the dark, sipping hot chocolate and coffee made from power generated from an on-site solar trailer. In past years, the event has drawn as many as 500 people.

“It is symbolic, but it’s also a place for people to get together and talk about these (environmental) issues,” said Ecoliving Events executive director Judi Vandenbrink. “People want to come together and talk about solutions, and bring to light that global warming is a concern for them.”

The Nature Conservancy of Canada is partnering with Good Earth Coffeehouse and Bakery to put on a free candlelit concert by Calgary band Escape the Audience. The concert will take place at Good Earth’s 908 13th Ave. S.W. location, and a portion of proceeds from food and beverage sales will be donated to the Nature Conservancy of Canada.

Historically, Calgary has not had much luck in actually reducing its overall power consumption during Earth Hour — in 2008, electricity usage in Calgary was actually higher than average during the one-hour period. While Calgary’s power usage did go down during last year’s event, the difference was so small that officials couldn’t determine whether Earth Hour had been a factor.

However, Nature Conservancy of Canada spokesman Larry Simpson said the initiative is important, regardless of whether it results in significant power savings.

“Any time there’s an opportunity to bring people together to try to make a constructive difference in the world, that’s helpful,” Simpson said. “When you’re dealing with a world that’s surpassing seven billion people, there’s a lot of environmental challenges, and every small thing individuals can do adds up ultimately into some big things.”

The University of Calgary is participating this year in the One Hour No Power Campus Challenge, a competition between post-secondary institutions to have the greatest number of students, staff and faculty pledge to participate in Earth Hour.

Earth Hour started in 2007 in Sydney, Australia, and spread to other countries around the globe the following year.

Earth Hour 2011 was the biggest in the campaign’s five-year history, taking place in a record 5,251 cities and towns in 135 countries.

Some of the world’s most recognizable landmarks — including the Eiffel Tower, Beijing’s Forbidden City, Buckingham Palace, the Golden Gate Bridge and the Sydney Opera House — went dark in observation of the event.

What are you doing for earth hour? Do you plan on limiting your carbon footprint tonight? Tell us on Facebook what you plan on doing!

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