Lights out for Earth Hour

earth hou

The lights are going down from the Great Pyramids to the Acropolis, the Eiffel Tower to Sears Tower, as more than 2,800 municipalities in 84 countries plan Saturday to mark the second worldwide Earth Hour.

McDonald’s will even soften the yellow glow from some Golden Arches as part of the time zone-by-time zone plan to dim nonessential lights between 8:30 p.m. and 9:30 p.m.

Earth Hour organizers asks households and businesses to turn off their non-essential lights and electrical appliances for one hour to raise awareness towards the need to conserve energy.  My son, William, who is the head of The Green Team for Loew’s chain of luxury hotels, will participate.

Actually, he will be visiting me and he’s already informed me we must shut everything down beginning at 8:30 p.m tomorrow. Heck, that’s so close to my bedtime, it won’t be a problem!

Seven times more municipalities have signed on since last year’s Earth Hour, which drew participation from 400 cities after Sydney, Australia held a solo event in 2007.

Nearly 200 U.S. cities, towns and villages have signed on. from New York City to Chicago.

Among the efforts in Chicago, 50,000 light bulbs at tourist hotspot Navy Pier will dim and 24 spotlights that shine on Sears Tower’s twin spires will go dark.

“We’re the most visible building in the city,” said Angela Burnett, a Sears Tower property manager. “Turning off the lights for one hour on a Saturday night shows our commitment to sustainability.”

The first Earth Hour was in Sydney, Australia, in 2007 and inspired 2.2 million people and 2,100 corporations to shut off non-essential lights and other electric loads. The city reported a 10.2 percent energy reduction during that one hour, the equivalent of taking about 48,000 cars off the road for an hour.

The Commonwealth Edison utility said electricity demand fell by 5 percent in Chicago and northern Illinois during last year’s Earth Hour, reducing about 840,000 pounds of carbon dioxide emissions.

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