At 8.30pm this Saturday lights will be going out—or so it’s hoped—to help draw attention to climate change. And as this fantastic new ad shows, those who ignore Earth Hour do so at their peril.
A couple of days out from the event, the organisers of the global event Earth Hour are urging businesses and organisations to show their leadership by committing to lasting action for the planet when the lights come back on and they’re pushing it with the ‘beyond the hour’ campaign and a very cool TVC.
Last year, 1.25 million New Zealand adults were amongst hundreds of millions of people across 128 countries to take part in the event that was born in Australia in 2007. This year, a record 131 countries and territories are registered to take part and, with a rise in the importance of corporate social responsibility, companies like Nokia, PWC, FIFA, the International Olympic Committee, Canon, Baidu, Naver, National Geographic Channel Asia, Bloomberg, Starcom, Mindshare Pocoyo, Clearchannel, Credit Suisse AG, Coca Cola, IKEA, Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide, Hostel World and CB Richard Ellis are also getting involved.
Locally, Auckland’s Sky Tower has pledged to turn its lights down for the event. Meanwhile both Hamilton and Hastings are hosting large-scale public events to celebrate. Tauranga’s Bayfair Shopping Centre is getting in on the act as is Carter Observatory in Wellington, which will host a free stargazing evening. An Auckland resident is hoping to hold a gathering with buskers and acoustic music in the Auckland Domain on the night to raise funds for the Christchurch Earthquake appeal.
Five New Zealand councils and community groups in Central Otago, Hastings, Selwyn, Tauranga, and Upper Hutt this year also won WWF-New Zealand funding to support their Earth Hour events and activities. The fund totals $11,000 this year, with grants supporting events and activities encouraging action during Earth Hour and beyond the hour, from concerts to sustainability education expos and workshops for residents.