Spotlight on Earth Hour Activities

Creative ideas beyond turning lights off to draw attention to environmental issues

Issue: Mar 2012

Wear Less Day this year will extend beyond Singapore to Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, Philippines, Vietnam and India
Wear Less Day this year will extend beyond Singapore to Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, Philippines, Vietnam and India

Every year, thousands of buildings around the world go dark for an hour on the last Saturday of March. This lights-off campaign is part of a global movement by World Wildlife Fund (WWF) called Earth Hour, designed to mobilise the world to show their united commitment to combat climate change. In 2011, hundreds of millions of people across 135 countries took part in Earth Hour.

Over 200 CapitaLand properties worldwide participated in this global effort in 2011. Increasingly, organisations and governments are going beyond the hour to make lasting changes to their behaviour that will impact the Earth.

This year, Earth Hour will take place on 31 March 2012 at 8.30pm (local time) and over 200 CapitaLand properties across the world will switch off their façade and non-essential lighting for not just one hour but throughout the night on 31 March 2012. This will be the fifth consecutive year that CapitaLand is participating in this global movement, Earth Hour.

When it comes to caring for the environment, CapitaLand has always endeavoured to do its part to increase environmental awareness.

Participants in last year’s Wear Less Day campaign having a light moment with CapitaFrog, CapitaLand’s mascot for green community programmes
Participants in last year’s Wear Less Day campaign having a light moment with CapitaFrog, CapitaLand’s mascot for green community programmes

More or Less It Is All for the Earth

CapitaLand will again be organising Wear Less Day in Singapore on 30 March 2012, in conjunction with Earth Hour. This year, Wear Less Day is extending beyond Singapore to Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, Philippines, Vietnam, and India, where tropical temperatures allow for participants to do more for the environment by turning up the air conditioning temperature while “wearing less” to stay cool. Studies show that every 1°C increase in air conditioning temperature can save up to 3% of energy used for air-conditioning, In Singapore, a Wear Less Day photo contest will be held with attractive prizes to be won and details of this contest will be posted on the Facebook page of CapitaLand’s green mascot, CapitaFrog.

CapitaLand started Wear Less Day, this fun, engaging yet effective campaign last year in conjuction with Earth Hour. The campaign was accorded the WWF Singapore’s Participation Award for Most Creative Campaign. On the eve of Earth Hour, temperatures in participating CapitaLand properties in Singapore went up to 25 degree Celsius to conserve energy and everyone, from employees to tenants, was encouraged to abandon their usual office gear for cooler, casual wear. A photo competition was conducted and participants were encouraged to upload pictures of themselves in their finest fashion choicest, complete with CapitaLand Wear Less Day stickers. More than 150 pictures were submitted to CapitaLand’s Earth Hour website. This year, in countries where the climate is colder, such as Japan and Hanoi, CapitaLand properties will be doing the opposite – Wear More Day. The indoor temperature will be reduced to save energy and occupants are encouraged to don more layers.

Young children with the chopstick tree and other works of art which were all created from used disposable chopsticks

Young children with the chopstick tree and other works of art which were all created from used disposable chopsticks
Young children with the chopstick tree and other works of art which were all created from used disposable chopsticks

Growing Interest in the Environment

In China, as part of Earth Day 2011, some of the CapitaMalls Asia’s shopping malls embarked on a series of Green activities to encourage environment conservation.

570 million disposable chopsticks are manufactured in China every year, which amounts to 100 trees being chopped down every day. At this rate, it is estimated that within 20 years, China’s forests would be seriously depleted. Last March, CapitaMall Zibo in Shandong, China started a campaign
“Add a Tint of Green for Mother Earth”
(“为地球添一点绿色”) to share the message of forest conservation. It had engaged the members of the public to participate in a tree-planting exercise in Black Iron Mountain
(黑铁山) to restore trees lost during deforestation and to promote the recycling of disposable chopsticks.

Used disposable chopsticks were also salvaged and turned into works of art to encourage recycling at an event called
“I Was Formerly A Big Tree” (“我本是棵参天大树”). Note paper in the shape of leaves were provided to children to pen their thoughts on recycling and hung as leaves of the chopstick tree thereafter.

The Art of Green

For Earth Hour, CapitaMall Peace Plaza in Dalian spearheaded activities that targeted the young. Preschoolers and parents were invited to take part in an “Eco-Graffiti Art Competition” (“宝宝环保涂鸦大赛”) where they got creative in decorating recyclable bags. Preschoolers were also encouraged to write their hopes for the future of the Earth on leaf-shaped paper and put them up to the event’s display board to form trees. Recycling games were conducted to increase their understanding of environmental issues in the hopes that families will adopt an eco lifestyle, protecting the local rivers as well as Mother Earth. In CapitaMall Taohualun, Yiyang, one event that turned heads and got the loudest cheers was a fashion show in which the pre-schoolers paraded in outfits made with recycled items. It fuelled the imagination on what recycled items could be used for and showed that with creativity; even used products can be turned into things of beauty.

In China, activities organised by CapitaMall Peace Plaza in Dalian and CapitaMall Taohualun in Yiyang demonstrated that environment conservation can start from a young age as preschoolers participated in their “Eco-Graffiti Art Competition” and an eco-fashion parade respectively
In China, activities organised by CapitaMall Peace Plaza in Dalian and CapitaMall Taohualun in Yiyang demonstrated that environment conservation can start from a young age as preschoolers participated in their “Eco-Graffiti Art Competition” and an eco-fashion parade respectively

Building a Virtual Eco Community

To encourage greater creativity and participation this, year, CapitaLand is urging participation of all its properties across the world to post pictures of their Earth Hour and Earth Hour-related activities on the Facebook page of its green mascot, CapitaFrog.

As CapitaLand has so aptly demonstrated, the Earth Hour message is not just for the hour. With an innovative spirit and ingenuity, efforts to educate about the cause can be fun and last well past Earth Hour.

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