Climate change

People urged to think beyond 60 minutes

PUBLISHED : Monday, 21 March, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 21 March, 2011, 12:00am

The green group, WWF, is calling on people around the world to switch off their lights this Saturday at 8.30pm for one hour to show their commitment to making the Earth a better place.

It is the third year that Hong Kong will be involved in Earth Hour, which was launched in Australia in 2007.

More than a billion people from 125 countries and cities - including 2.5 million Hongkongers - took part in last year's campaign.

Around 2,500 companies and buildings, 230 schools and youth groups, and all universities in the city switched off their lights last year for a brighter future. Almost all the lights of buildings along Victoria Harbour were turned off. The Symphony of Lights was also cancelled that night.

The theme of this year's campaign is 'Go Beyond the Hour'. WWF hopes Earth Hour will not be just about switching off the lights for 60 minutes. Even after the campaign, the organisation urged people to think about what they can do to protect our environment. Last year's theme was climate change.

Lee King-yin, WWF Hong Kong's communications manager, said the theme this year is broader because climate change is not the only threat the earth is facing.

Apart from saving electricity consumption for one hour, Lee said they wanted people to lead by example.

'WWF hopes that people can develop a sustainable lifestyle through Earth Hour,' she said.

Lee offered Hongkongers some useful advice on how to use the Earth's resources properly.

She said people can make a huge difference by switching off their electrical appliances instead of leaving them on standby mode. Many people didn't know home appliances on standby mode consumed a lot of electricity, she said.

Lee also suggested that people buy paper sourced from certified and sustainably managed forests. This paper has the label 'Forest Stewardship Council' on their package.

'Over-logging is leading to the rapid disappearance of forests around the world,' she said.

While WWF does not ask people not to eat seafood, the organisation said they should choose wisely. Some fish species are facing a severe threat because of over-fishing, Lee said.