Saturday, March 27, 2010

10 Ways to Spend Earth Hour 2010

Over 1000 Philippine Cities and Municipalities Prepare for the Switch-off 

TODAY, 27 March, the Philippines joins the rest of the global community in making a symbolic call for united action against climate change through Earth Hour, as households, communities and public and private institutions turn off their lights from 8:30PM to 9:30PM.

Since 2008, Earth Hour Philippines has become a celebration of climate change solutions. It is important to bear in mind that Earth Hour does not end when the lights are switched back on. The switchoff signifies the start of a very personal and lasting lifestyle change to minimize our ecological impacts and to do our bit for a more sustainable planet. Personal pledges can take many forms, from upgrading to energy-efficient appliances to planting and stewarding a small grove of native trees. Here are ten ways to help you make a difference during and after Earth Hour 2010:

1 – Document Your Earth Hour Celebrations

If you’re planning to join one of the Earth Hour celebrations around town, whip out those DSLRs and point-&-shoots! It’s time to snap up photos and videos of your Earth Hour celebrations in your locality! You may even win DVD players, cellphones and other prizes. For more information, simply log on to:

2 - Host an Outdoor Evening Party
If you plan to stay in your neighborhood, get the barkada together for an Earth Hour eco-party. Set-up the front yard or go to the village park. Fire up the flashlights or headlamps, dine on organic food and have your resident musikero provide the acoustics. Talk to your friends about how you’re each reducing your environmental footprint and share ideas and solutions for saving more energy, cash and carbon dioxide.

3 – Encourage Kids to Play Outdoors
Earth Hour is a perfect time to talk to your kids about the Philippine environment and why we need to protect our planet from the dangers of climate change. Remember the good old days of Patintero, Taguan and Luksong Baka? Ever explored that old creek a block away? How about an afternoon spent birdwatching? Encourage your kids to unplug all electronics and rediscover the joys of outdoor play.

4 - Do a Recyclables Hunt
Get your flashlights and scour your cabinets and shelves for cans, bottles and boxes that you don't normally recycle. Make a list of all the non-recyclable containers you’re using now (like plastic shopping bags) and figure out ways to reduce your consumption of items that end up in our local landfills. A fun tip: get reusable grocery bags ... and reuse them!

5 - Green That Workspace!
Working the graveyard shift at a local call center? Even if you can’t turn off all the office lights, look around and see what you can unplug, turn down or use less of (like consuming less paper by printing double-sided). Every day millions of computer screens and speakers are left on overnight - shut ‘em off! And talk to your fellow employees about what they can do to help make a difference too.

6 - Involve Your Local Leaders
If your village or barangay isn't already hosting an Earth Hour event, ask your local government to set up a community "green" discussion in a public building from 8:30 to 9:30PM on 27 March. Help organize attendance by reaching out to local environmental and community groups, and come prepared to ask your leaders what they’re doing to make your area greener.

7 - Clean Up Your Street
Grab a flashlight and walk down your house street, picking up trash and recyclables as you go. It's a great chance to do some stargazing too! What’s more, a walk under the stars brims with romantic potential.

8 - Unplug and Just Chill Out
Most of our daily activities like watching TV and texting require loads of electricity, but do we really need to do so much stuff all the time? Stay home, minimize carbon emissions from your car and just have an hour of steady time. Turn off the screens, shut off the beloved cellphone and just take some "you" time to reflect, read or talk to your family. After all, why should you do more when you can do less?

9 - Give Yourself an Energy Makeover
Use Earth Hour as a reason to make your home more energy efficient: Replace those cruddy old incandescent bulbs with newer and more efficient CFL bulbs. Install power strips to turn computers and electronics on and off more easily, since appliances on standby mode are still at about 30% consumption.

10 - Make a Pledge for the Planet
Earth Hour shouldn't end at 9:31PM — it's a chance to take a first step toward lowering your overall impact on the environment. So use part of that hour to make a personal pledge to do more — recycle, take public transportation, remember to turn off or unplug electronics, and beyond. The only way we're going to stabilize our climate is if we make real changes in our everyday lives. You’ll hit two birds with one stone by saving on both cash and carbon emissions.

Remember: Turn off your lights from 8:30PM to 9:30PM on 27 March
But the first step is to turn off your lights on 27 March from 8:30PM to 9:30PM as part of the world’s largest social mobilization event. Tomorrow, around one billion people across time zones all over the world are expected to take part in this massive display of solidarity for the planet.

In 2009, the Philippines ranked first among 88 nations in terms of local participation in Earth Hour. Over 10 million Filipinos in 647 cities and municipalities switched off their lights during Earth Hour, saving an estimated 611MWh of electricity - equivalent to a temporary shutdown of a dozen coal-fired power-plants. This year, the event organizers - WWF, the Department of Energy, Green Army Network Foundation and SWITCH Movement - aim to mobilize 15 million Filipinos in 1000 towns, cities and municipalities to take a symbolic stand against climate change.

1000 Cities and Municipalities Breached

As of 1930H of 25 March, a running total of 1041 Philippine cities and municipalities have confirmed participation. More are expected to pledge support before the global switchoff tonight.

The public is invited to the main switchoff event at the SM Mall of Asia from 7PM onwards. The program will include entertainment numbers from Arnel Pineda, Moymoy Palaboy, Princess, Ballet Philippines and the Philippine All Stars. Ayala is also spearheading several Earth Hour events, including a street party at the Bonifacio High Street. Similar celebrations will take place in many other cities and towns across the country.

Official Earth Hour 2010 partners include Ipanema, Motolite, SM Malls, Ayala Malls, Bonifacio Global City, the Century Pacific Group, Sustagen, Philips, Meralco, Arthaland, Shell, First Gen, Energy Development Corporation, McDonald's, Jollibee, Shangri-La Hotels, ECC International, GMA-7, ABS-CBN, Net-25, Philippine Daily Inquirer, Philippine Star, Infinit-1 Communications, FocusMedia Audiovisuals, Leo Burnett, Radio Veritas, Sonshine Radio, ECC International, Dig It All, Friendster, Discovery Channel and the National Geographic Channel.
Groups that have pledged commitments are the Archdiocese of Manila, Archdiocese of Cebu, Diocese of Kaloocan, Diocese of Parañaque, University of the Philippines, Technological University of the Philippines, Manila Doctors College, Silliman University, Adamson University, Asian College of Science and Technology, Colegio de Santa Catalina de Alexandria, Foundation University, St. Paul University Dumaguete, Ayala Foundation, Ms. Earth Foundation, Ms. Teen Earth and Ms. Kids Earth, REACT, Philippine Business for Social Progress, Ortigas Foundation, Girl Scouts of the Philippines, Manila Jaycees, Hotel and Restaurant Association of the Philippines, Outdoor Advertising Association of the Philippines, Philippine Science Centrum, World Youth Alliance, Habitat for Humanity Philippines, Iglesia ni Cristo and Gawad Kalinga.
Other companies which have pledged support include BPI, HSBC, Coca-Cola, Tetra Pak, Starbucks, Canon, Abenson, Chowking, Unilever, Globe, PLDT, SMART, BME, PhilBIO, Piandré, ATP, Toyota, the Filipino-Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Ascott Group, Dusit Thani Manila, Hilton Cebu, Robinsons Malls, Chevron, SGV & Co and Ricoh Philippines. (30)
For more information:
Naderev 'Yeb' Saño
Earth Hour Philippines National Director
Gregg Yan
Earth Hour Philippines Communications Head
Mika Palileo
Earth Hour Philippines Secretariat
840-2134 / 789-76622 loc. 5200

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