City wants you to be in the dark – for an hour

This will be the seventh year that the City of Campbell River has participated in Earth Hour

The city is encouraging everyone to turn the lights off this weekend.

On Saturday, from 8:30-9:30 p.m., to be exact.

That’s when Earth Hour will be celebrated in 120 countries and 24 time zones across the world.

This will be the seventh year that the City of Campbell River has participated in Earth Hour, an event which Mayor Andy Adams proclaimed at Monday’s council meeting.

“It’s a movement that’s achieved a massive environmental impact, including legislative changes by harnessing the will of people to reduce energy consumption,” Adams said. “Whereas Campbell River has a community and energy emissions plan and Campbell River has been participating in Earth Hour since 2009, I encourage residents to power down in celebration of our planet.”

Earth Hour started in Sydney, Australia in 2007 when 2.2 million homes and businesses turned their lights off for one hour to take a stand against climate change.

The following year, 35 countries joined in the movement with more than 50 million people participating. The lights went out at landmarks such as San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge, the Colosseum in Rome and the Coca Cola billboard in Times Square.

Last year, British Columbians saved 65 megawatt hours of electricity, the equivalent of turning off 1.4 million lights. Campbell River reduced its energy consumption by 2.2 per cent in 2014, which was 22nd in the province and 11th best on the Island.

In 2012, Campbell River lowered its consumption by 2.46 per cent and British Columbians as a whole saved 136 megawatt hours of electricity.

The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) is the leader of the world-wide Earth Hour Challenge and provides tips on how to celebrate Earth Hour on its website, wwf.panda.org

The City of Campbell River is also encouraging those who plan on doing more than turing off their lights and electronics to share it on the Sustainable Campbell River Facebook page.

The city suggests the following actions during Earth Hour:

n Turn off all non-essential lights in your home.

n Turn down your thermostat and unplug all non-essential electronics.

n Consider completing a home energy evaluation and identify energy improvement options.

n Consider creating an I Will if you Will Challenge for a family member or co-worker. Visit www.earthhour.org/i-will-if-you-will to join or create a challenge.