Today is Earth Hour… What Does it Mean?

Posted on March 25, 2017

Today at 8:30pm is Earth Hour, where Calgary and many cities and peoples around the world celebrate the Earth by unplugging and turning off lights. This year is the 10th anniversary of Earth Hour, started by the World Wildlife Fund in Australia. The event now includes 7,000 cities in 170 countries with 2.4 million participants.

Some famous landmarks that symbolically turn off their lighting to encourage energy awareness include the Eiffel Tower, the Empire State Building, the Kremlin in Moscow, Hong Kong’s 118 story International Commerce Centre, the Sydney Opera House, the Parthenon in Athens, the Petronas Towers in Kuala Lumpur, and the Houses of Parliament in London. 

In Calgary, numerous buildings and landmarks turn off their power including the Stephen Avenue Galleria Trees, the Calgary Tower, The Calgary Municipal Building, the Calgary Water Centre, all the Calgary fire stations, Centre Street Bridge, and Reconciliation Bridge.

This year, as in years past, Green Calgary is participating in Earth Hour at Calgary Unplugged. This event includes a DJ dance party, fun green activities, firepits, and games – all delivered with alternative energy streams, such as pedal bikes.

Here are a few ways you can participate in Earth Hour:

1.Host a candle-lit dinner. It’s easy to enjoy lights and electronics off if you’re in great company – invite some friends and talk away the evening by candlelight! Grab your groceries from Community Natural Foods to be extra green, too!

2. Go stargazing. Weather permitting, this is a great time to turn off the lights and enjoy the sky. You can even head out of town to get a better view or go to Nose Hill Park to reduce the glare! Bring some blankets to lay on the grass!

3. Have an Earth Hour party. Candlelight works here, too. Just get some snacks, maybe watch a documentary about sustainable energy, then from 8:30pm to 9:30pm, shut off the power, light up the candles, and doing something fun! Many board games can be played by candlelight, as can charades and other simple fun. Need some drinks for the night? Check out great local stops like Village Brewery!

4. Go for a walk. Grab your flashlight and head outside for a nice walk in the park! This is a great chance to enjoy the outdoors! If you want to bring along some snacks, check parks with picnic areas. It's great to take a break!

5. Come see us! Come down to St. Patrick’s Island to see Green Calgary, the Arusha Centre, and more! It will be a blast! The festivities start at 7pm at Confluence Plaza! More info on Arusha's Facebook Page!

Share your Earth Hour activities and stories with us on Twitter and Facebook using the hashtags #earthhouryyc and #changeclimatechange! Remember, no matter what you do, stay safe and have fun! Take care of the Earth and of each other. Happy Earth Hour!