Vote for your Favourite Sustainable City as Part of Earth Hour!
Hundreds of millions of people, local communities and iconic landmarks from every corner of the globe will switch off the lights this Saturday 29th March at 8.30pm for one hour to show they care about the future of our planet.
As a major part of this event, Earth Hour, people will be encouraged to vote for their favourite sustainable city as well as their favourite capital city.
Earth Hour has been organised by WWF since 2007 and encourages people to take action for one hour anywhere in the world. Groups from Thailand to Tahiti, Iran to Las Vegas and the International Space Station to Sudan are taking part.
People are being encouraged to join three campaigns: to end shark's fin being served in restaurants; an Instagram campaign for people to share their love of the Great Barrier Reef; and, last but not least, We Love Cities, a global celebration of the most lovable sustainable cities. This year 60 US cities are participating. Three finalists will now compete for the title of Earth Hour Capital: Chicago, Cleveland and Boulder, CO.
In this, people are being encouraged to vote for their favourite city. Which one will you vote for? The website lets you browse 33 cities from 14 countries that WWF have shortlisted, from Aguascalientes to Växjö (I don't know why Surrey is included as it is not a city but a county in England).
On the website people are encouraged to tweet in support of their city and add photographs using Instagram. They can also find out more about how to make cities more sustainable.
Earth hour spreads light through darkness
Here is a roundup of some of the other Earth Hour things that will be happening, and, at the bottom of the page, links to how you can get involved yourself. At the very least, people are being encouraged to turn the lights off to save fossil fuel energy and greenhouse gas emissions. The lights off event will take place on 29th of March at 8:30 PM local time across the globe; starting in New Zealand and ending in Tahiti.
All of these places and more will join in the world’s largest celebration for the planet: The Sydney Harbour Bridge and Opera House, Tokyo Tower, Taipei 101, The Bird Nest in Beijing, The Oriental Pearl Tower in Shanghai, Wat Arun Buddhist Temple in Bangkok, The Petronas Twin Towers in Kuala Lumpur, India Gate, the world’s tallest building Burj Khalifa in Dubai, South Africa’s Table Mountain, St. Peter's Basilica in the Vatican City, The Eiffel Tower in Paris, La Sagrada Familia in Barcelona, Buckingham Palace in London, Edinburgh Castle in Scotland, Christ the Redeemer (statue) in Rio de Janeiro, The Angel of Independence in Mexico City, The Empire State Building and Times Square in New York City, Niagara Falls, Los Angeles International Airport, the Las Vegas Strip.
“It is always extraordinary to see cities and landmarks involved in Earth Hour, but in 2014 it is the stories and activities happening beyond the hour that show this event has evolved into a movement driven by the power of the crowd,” says Andy Ridley, CEO and Co-Founder of Earth Hour from the movement’s home in Singapore.
As the first city over the international date line, Auckland in New Zealand will go dark first as the Sky Tower switches off. Then, in Canberra, Australia, a massive candle lit display on the lawn of Parliament House will spell out: ‘It’s Lights Out For The Reef’ in protest at government-supported development that threatens the Great Barrier Reef. Across the country, crowds attending special events with this theme will watch a special documentary about the impact of climate change on the Reef.
Earth Hour will then sweep across Asia, where crowds will participate in Earth Hour Blue, a crowdfunding and crowdsourcing platform to raise money for environmental projects from protecting Indonesian wildlife to energy efficient stoves in China to help protect panda-hosting bamboo reserves and to prevent deforestation in Madagascar.
In Indonesia, Earth Hour has become a massive, year-round youth led movement enlisting the support of more than 1.5 million people across more than 31 cities in the country. Creating simple and creative environmental actions through film, performances, social media and public gatherings, the teams will promote environmental activities related to saving electricity, reduction in use of plastic, using less paper and tissue, planting more trees and using public transportation throughout the year.
Following the recent announcement that Spider-Man is the first super-hero ambassador for Earth Hour, the cast of The Amazing Spider-Man 2 will help to switch off the lights across Singapore’s signature Marina Bay skyline as part of the global flagship Earth Hour event organised by WWF-Singapore.
In Kuwait, inspired to take the super-hero theme to another level, Kuwaiti athlete Refaei hopes to base jump from the top of Olympia Mall. The base jumper, skydiver and wing suit pilot posted a photo to Instagram saying, “Cannot wait for this Saturday to be part of it and save the world”.
For the second year running, in Moscow, the Kremlin, the residence of the President, and Red Square will switch off for Earth Hour, as WWF-Russia calls on people to help save five key species in the region, including the critically endangered Amur Leopard.
Russian cosmonaut Mikhail Tyurin has also recorded a message from the International Space Station, reminding the world that whilst the planet looks amazing and beautiful from space, it also looks fragile and therefore people should do their part to protect it.
The biggest Earth Hour logo in history (2800 square meters) has been created in the city of Isfahan in Iran out of a dried out river bed. An event in front of the Khaju Bridge in Isfahan will raise awareness about the plight of the famous Zayanderud River, where there has been no continuous water flow for the past few years due to climate change and other factors.
Where East meets West, the Sultan Ahmed Mosque (Blue Mosque) in Istanbul will switch off for Earth Hour for the first time, alongside the Hagia Sophia and Bosphorous Bridge that connects Europe and Asia.
In Europe, WWF-Belgium is enlisting the support of some of the country's best known bands - Suarez, Hush Hush and Alek et les Japonaises - to play in the living rooms of 40 committed Earth Hour supporters who register their unplugged party online before the global celebration on March 29.
People across Finland will use their voice for the Arctic, a region affected by climate change more than anywhere else in the world. Participants will pledge to increase the amount of renewable energy in the country for the protection of species like the polar bear, which depend on ice and snow for survival and whose home is currently being lost due to the effects of climate change.
In the UK over 10 million people are expected to take part, celebrating with candlelit dinners, stargazing and enjoying torch lit walks under atmospheric night skies. UK landmarks including Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament, Buckingham Palace, Tower Bridge, The London Eye, the iconic Piccadilly Lights, Edinburgh Castle, Brighton Pier, Durham Cathedral and Windsor Castle will all switch off their lights for Earth Hour.
Across the Atlantic, reggae artists in Jamaica will perform an acoustic concert for the second year running.
Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield, who last year delivered a message directly from the International Space Station, made a plea this year to help build a better future for our planet.
In Colombia, South America, WWF will switch on the Amazon rainforest. The Amazon is quickly disappearing with mining and ranching leading to loss of species and pollution. The project, supported by Latin American ambassador Claudia Bahamón, allows global participants to invest in the largest ecosystem and air, water and life producer on the planet.
In Argentina, people are using the movement to take action in their households, workplaces and communities and have a simple goal with a big impact. Argentineans will turn off their lights in support of the legislative measure to replace ignition water heater systems with efficient electric systems, to avoid the passive consumption of gas equivalent to powering 800,000 homes in the country for one year.
Finally, in Tahiti, where Earth Hour will end its epic journey across more than 150 countries and territories, 5,000 people will gain entry to a massive acoustic concert at Stade Paster by handing in a piece of recyclable waste they’ve collected to avoid landfill.
“These Earth Hour success stories illustrate the movement has become a global collaboration to show what can be achieved for the planet,“ says Ridley.
This page explains how you can get involved. What will you be doing?
David is Special Consultant of this website. He's author of Energy Management in Buildings, Energy Management in Industry, Sustainable Transport Fuels, Solar Technology, Sustainable Home Refurbishment, Solar Photovoltaics Business Briefing, and much more. His new book, The One Planet Life, is due out in November. He's also a novelist, script and comics writer, journalist, and editor. He was ...
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