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One Day till Earth Hour 2013

Earth Hour is at 8.30pm tomorrow night, Saturday 23 March.

Tauranga_Children light candles for Earth Hour in Tauranga New Zealand_Emma van de Molen

Wellington, New Zealand – New Zealanders will tomorrow be among the first in the world to celebrate Earth Hour, the largest environmental movement in history. Only Samoa will switch off first, before New Zealand and Antarctica lead the hundreds of millions of people participating worldwide.

Earth Hour is the world’s largest movement for the planet, with more than 150 countries and territories participating this year. When lights switch off for an hour on the Sky Tower and Beehive New Zealand landmarks will be leading a raft of global icons including the Eiffel Tower, Niagara Falls, Buckingham Palace, The Empire State Building, Sydney Opera House and Table Mountain.

Kiwis will celebrate Earth Hour in their homes and at community events around the country. In Auckland a group of skate boarders and cyclists will ‘roll out’ through the CBD, drawing attention to the amount of rubbish dropped on urban streets. ‘Nek minnit’ skater Levi Hawken has pledged to produce a video of the Auckland CBD event if 500 Youtube fans switch to reusable coffee cups and drink bottles.

In Tauranga neighbours and community groups will share sweet treats by candle light, as part of The Big Dessert Night organised by Envirohub Bay of Plenty. A torch led procession from Papamoa Coast Kindergarten will end in a dessert picnic and family games night.

Residents in Selwyn have been celebrating a week of Earth Hour sustainability events, including a film festival, debate and youth acoustic concert. Tomorrow they will gather for a candle lit barn dance, with an unplugged band playing into the night.

Dr. Sue Jarvis, Chairperson of Lincoln Envirotown, said: “The Selwyn community is passionate about Earth Hour because there is no doubt that climate change is upon us and it is imperative we all take individual actions to reduce our carbon emissions. For us, Earth Hour is a symbolic way of publicising this and it’s also great fun, especially seeing all ages involved from pre-schoolers to people in their eighties”.

Thousands of New Zealanders will mark the annual event in their homes, taking an hour to reflect on the steps we can take towards a sustainable future for the planet.

Rosa Argent, WWF-New Zealand’s Earth Hour coordinator said: “Earth Hour is so popular because it brings people together in local communities and globally. Taking part in Earth Hour is much more than lights off; it symbolises our shared commitment to protect the planet. Now in its seventh year, part of Earth Hour’s enduring success is that inspires people to go beyond the hour and make changes to live more sustainably.”

Earth Hour is a truly global event. The first Earth Hour Forest is being planted in the African nation of Uganda, an important first step in the fight against the 6,000 hectares of deforestation that occurs in the country every month. Last year 120,000 Russians signed an Earth Hour petition resulting in legislation to protect their seas from oil pollution, this year they’re signing up to protect their forests. Antarctica celebrates Earth Hour in the same time zone as New Zealand. For the first time residents from every base in Antarctica will switch off.


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