Friday, March 26, 2010

What were over one billion people in the world doing from 8:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. last year on March 28? They turned off their lights in support of World Wildlife Fund's (WWF) Earth Hour. In fact, over 10 million Canadians and thousands of businesses participated in more than 275 cities across the country to raise awareness about climate change.

Many joint efforts will be taking place from coast to coast. For instance, Hydro Ottawa will be monitoring the decrease in electricity used in Ottawa during the one-hour period. Many landmarks such as the CN Tower and Parliament Hill will switch off their non-essential lights. "Canada" wordmark signs and decorative lighting on government buildings across the nation will also be turned off in support of Earth Hour. Many events are taking place in Ottawa, such as the Earth Hour Ottawa Candle Light Vigil on Parliament Hill by the Ottawa Centre Green Party. You can also listen to acoustic music by candlelight while enjoying a fair trade coffee at every Bridgehead or eat by candlelight at Boston Pizza. Or you can always support Earth Hour at home with fun ideas and activities, like playing board games by candlelight.

Earth Hour is an opportunity for everyone to reflect on what we can do - at home and in the office - to lessen our impact on the environment. We encourage you to join others in turning off your lights at home on Saturday, March 27, from 8:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. for Earth Hour.
This year WWF is organizing the Earth Hour Every Hour Contest with a great prize-a trip for two to see the Polar Bears in Churchill, Manitoba. All you have to do is upload a video or photo essay that explains what steps you are taking for the planet - big or small! You can also win weekly prizes just by voting for your favorite entry.

To find out more about Earth Hour on campus, visit the University of Ottawa's Earth Hour website.

Together, we can make a difference! Now, don't forget to turn off your lights!

- danielle perreault

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