Earth Hour 2010 a Resounding Success!
1076 Philippine Cities and Municipalities Flick the Switch
Darkness once more enveloped the Philippines for an hour on 27 March as a record-breaking 1076 towns, cities and municipalities joined the rest of the global community in making a symbolic call for united action against climate change. Earth Hour organizers, led by WWF, the Department of Energy, Green Army Network Foundation and SWITCH Movement, are jubilant at the scope and success of the event and hope that the effects will permeate for years to come.
Since 2008, Earth Hour Philippines has become a celebration of climate change solutions. "Earth Hour does not end when the lights are switched back on," says newly-appointed Climate Change Commissioner and Earth Hour National Director Yeb Saño. "The switch-off 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 long after Earth Hour:
1 – Document Your Earth Hour Celebrations
If you and your friends joined one of the Earth Hour celebrations, you can email documentation photos and videos to email@example.com. At stake are DVD players, cellphones and other prizes.
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 outdoors.
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.
Philippines 1st Worldwide, 2nd Time in a Row
"Earth Hour Philippines 2010 was our biggest so far and is a resounding success", adds Saño. "It is a wonderful example of public and private sector collaboration and a brilliant celebration of climate solutions." Rough estimates peg that at the very least, over 15 million Filipinos in 1076 towns, cities and municipalities joined this year's switch-off.
A crowd in excess of 3000 observed the main switch-off at the SM Mall of Asia in Pasay City. Throngs gathered at the Bonifacio High Street in Taguig to be serenaded by top performers. Kids and parents observed 'Kids Earth Hour' - a unique initiative for children to unplug electronics and rediscover the joys of outdoor play at the SM Mall of Asia, Trinoma Mall and Bonifacio High Street. Other switch-off celebrations took place in hundreds of areas nationwide.
In 2009, the Philippines also 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.
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, Manila Pavilion Hotel, Ascott Group, Dusit Thani Manila, Hilton Cebu, Robinsons Malls, Chevron, SGV & Co and Ricoh Philippines.
Earth Hour organizers wish to thank all groups and sectors for being part of the global phenomenon.
For more information:
Naderev 'Yeb' Saño
Earth Hour Philippines National Director
Earth Hour Philippines Communications Head
Earth Hour Philippines Secretariat
840-2134 / 789-76622 loc. 5200
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