The entire world embarked on a campaign to create environmental awareness worldwide.
Contributed by Dannon Har
|PHOTO COURTESY OF MOHD HIDAYAT HARON
The whole world went dark on March 27, as nations, corporations and individual households switched off all light-producing and electrical appliances to take a stand in supporting Earth Hour—an event organized by the World Wildlife Fund to raise awareness of the earth’s climate change.
The concept of Earth Hour was first conceived in Sydney Australia in 2007 when 2.2 million citizens switched off their non-essential lights. Following their lead, the WWF made it a global event carried out on the last Saturday of March since 2008.
This year, thousands of cities took part in this global event for a good cause.
Paris, the city of lights, switched off the lights in 240 of its national monuments, including the Eiffel Tower and the Notre Dame Cathedral, while 50 states in the United States of America also participated in the movement in like manner. In South-America, the nation of Brazil recorded a remarkable increase in the participation of Earth Hour.
Closer to home, countries like Vietnam and the Philippines saw an overwhelming response in the participation of this global event. Vietnam decreased its voltage use by more than three times compared to last year’s Earth Hour; while the Philippines came up tops as the world’s largest participant of this year’s Earth Hour.
In Singapore, the usually brightly-lit cityscape by night dimmed as companies and homes took part in Earth Hour. Events were held at outdoor venues to attract the public to participate in activities that required no electricity.
One such event was held at the Fengshan Community Centre in Bedok where more than 500 residents and students gathered to commemorate Earth Hour on that Saturday evening.
The event was headlined by a performance featuring Anugerah 2009 finalist Kamsani Jumahat who sang “We are the World” and “I Dream” in honor of Earth Hour.
Earth Hour was co-organized by ECO Singapore, a local environmental non-governmental organization, and Feng Shan Community Centre, to educate residents on what they can do to preserve the environment. This was done through fun game booths, a book recycling station and a screening of Wall-E—a movie on a robot designed to clean up a waste-covered Earth far in the future.
500 students from various schools also went door-to-door to the residents of Fengshan HDB estates, promoting Earth Hour’s environmental message and asking them to switch off their lights with the rest of Singapore from 8:30 to 9:30 p.m.
“Climate change is a very real threat and beyond such one-time events, we must practice eco-friendly habits daily, such as, recycling our trash and switching off electrical appliances when not in use at home,” said Wayne Chan, 31, an environmental activist who also hosted the event.
Elsewhere, celebrities like Utt of MTV Asia also pitched in and pledged their support to Earth Hour’s objectives in creating an awareness of climate change, which will lead to everyone living life in an environmentally-friendly manner, thus bringing about a sustainable green future for everyone.