Flick the Switch For Our Earth

It’s a small sacrifice, but the benefits can be huge

Issue: Mar 2009


Come March 28, 2009, over 500 cities around the world will stand in night darkness as homes, businesses and governments switch off their lights for an hour in support of Earth Hour. An initiative by the World Wildlife Federation (WWF), Earth Hour is a united global call to take action in addressing climate change for a sustainable future.

The first Earth Hour was held in 2007 in Sydney with 2.2 million homes and businesses getting involved. Last year the number grew to 50 million people in 370 cities and towns across more than 35 countries worldwide. This year, over 70 countries have committed to Earth Hour, with the number of signups increasing everyday. In the company of other iconic structures such as the Sydney Opera House, Taipei 101 and the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff, the Christ The Redeemer statue in Rio de Janeiro will also have its lights switched off.

United We Stand

From Cape Town to Copenhagen, Los Angeles to London, Mexico City to Malaysia, the support for this year’s campaign is strong but still falls short of WWF’s target of one billion people in more than 1,000 cities.

In Singapore, individuals and businesses such as CapitaLand have committed to do their part. CapitaLand’s offices, retail malls, and serviced residences will stand in darkness, sending out a clear strong message that everyone can and must do their part for a cause that grows more urgent by the hour.

In addition to switching off its buildings’ facade lights in Singapore, CapitaLand is, for the first time, involving its properties in Australia, China, Malaysia and Vietnam, making it a total of more than 100 of its properties participating in this campaign. The Group has also encouraged their tenants to participate in their own ways and even organised a talk on Earth Hour and climate change to propagate the sustainability message. A little romance may be in the works for residents at CapitaLand’s serviced apartments, as the restaurants do their part by offering candlelight dinners.

In Singapore, perhaps the most impactful statement would be made by the Merlion, which will likewise be plunged into darkness. This will hopefully educate the public in understanding just how much danger mankind is facing.

What difference does switching the lights off make? Above the impact that it makes to see the world’s buildings, homes, best loved landmarks in darkness for an hour, drawing the connection between energy use and climate change, it is with this movement that we as a world can hopefully nudge those who can make the difference to do so.

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