Published: Saturday, March 23, 2013

Earth Hour today

Switch off lights for an hour to save power

Bangladesh will today observe the Earth Hour along with over 150 countries by turning off its all non-essential lights for an hour from 8:30pm.
For the second time in a row, the country will participate in the worldwide one-hour power off campaign that aims to support action to create a sustainable future for the planet, officials said yesterday.
The government has urged all the electricity users in households and businesses to turn off their lights from 8:30pm to 9:30pm today.
Power Development Board has sent a request letter to the BTRC for sending text messages to all active mobile subscribers, urging them to observe the occasion, said an official of the state-run power producer.
Besides, Bangladesh Scouts will organise programmes at district level to raise awareness of energy use among people, said the PDB official.
The concept of Earth Hour was conceived by the World Wide Fund (WWF) for Nature and the Sydney Morning Herald in 2007, when 2.2 million residents of Sydney participated by turning off all non-essential lights.
Following Sydney’s lead, many other cities around the world adopted the event in 2008.
The annual switch-off is now being followed in three-quarters of the world’s nations, and has the potential to touch hundreds of millions of lives, says WWF, the organiser.
Within several years, Earth Hour has become the single largest symbolic mass participation event in the world.
It now inspires a global community of millions of people in 7,001 cities and towns across 152 countries and territories to switch lights off for an hour as a massive show of concern for the environment.
“Last year, Earth Hour was followed in 7,000 communities, an increase of about 30 percent over 2011,” said Andy Ridley, co-founder of the project launched by WWF.
The event is held on the last Saturday of March annually and takes place at 8:30pm local time around the world, reports AFP.
Ridley said no figures existed for the overall amount of energy saved by Earth Hour. But the brief switch-off, he argued, encouraged many people to do more to curb waste and think of the environment.
But Bangladesh could save about 400 tonnes of liquid fuel and 1.6 million units of electricity if all people observe Earth Hour, according to a previous estimate of PDB.
Many mobile subscribers all over the country yesterday reported that they had received text messages to observe today’s energy saving campaign.