With only one week to go, national monuments and iconic buildings around Singapore have pledged to switch off for Earth Hour Singapore on March 28, 2009 at 8.30pm.
The Merlion, Singapore’s national emblem, will stand in darkness for one hour to support the fight against climate change. The Singapore Flyer, the world’s largest observation wheel, The Fullerton Hotel and The Esplanade – Theatres on the Bay, affectionately known locally as “the durians” will also join this global environmental initiative.
Over 1,500 cities in 80 countries have agreed to participate in WWF’s Earth Hour 2009, more than double the number of cities that participated in 2008. The WWF initiative is proving to be extremely popular around the world, as people are more aware of the environmental threats we are facing. The Earth Hour video is viewed every 20 seconds on YouTube and Earth Hour is mentioned every 7 seconds on the Internet.
Speaking about Earth Hour Jeannie Lim, Director (Attractions), Singapore Tourism Board. “The Merlion is an icon that has come to be synonymous with Singapore, and we are pleased that the Merlion is now part of this global initiative that addresses one of the most immediate concerns of our time. We believe that every effort counts and with this simple gesture, Singapore now joins the other participating countries in the hope of increasing awareness of climate change.”
Louis Sailer, General Manager, The Fullerton Hotel Singapore, a stone’s throw from the Merlion, echoed the sentiment: “The Fullerton Hotel Singapore is proud to show our solidarity with the global movement of Earth Hour, raising awareness about the importance of energy conservation in times of climate change. In support, we will make the unprecedented move of turning off our historic façade lights of the hotel. We are constantly exploring other ways to conserve energy and hope that many other hotels and business establishments will join us in this pursuit of saving the environment.”
On March 28 at 8.30 pm, people in the Marina Bay area are likely to find themselves in the dark, as famous buildings around the area have signed up to switch off during Earth Hour, including: The Millenia Tower, The Centennial Tower, The Millenia Walk, Suntec Exhibition Centre, Suntec City, The Ritz-Carlton Millenia Hotel, The Marina Mandarin Hotel, The Pan Pacific Hotel and One Raffles Link.
Also located in the Marina Bay area is the iconic Singapore Flyer. “Despite being a tourist attraction, we believe that participating in this meaningful project will not compromise our operations and in fact, can help spread word about environmental awareness amongst our local and international visitors,” said Mr Yazed Osman, Vice President (Operations), Singapore Flyer Pte Ltd.
Besides dining by candlelight in participating restaurants on March 28, some 400 volunteers will, from the Formula 1 track adjacent to the Flyer, light candles to form the phrase “We Vote Earth!” to show their support for this cause.
Orchard Road, Singapore’s most popular shopping destination and one of the world’s renowned shopping belts, will be buzzing for a different reason during Earth Hour. Landmarks such as Wheelock Place, Paragon Shopping Centre, Palais Renaissance, Somerset Orchard, Plaza Singapura, Wisma Atria, The Atrium at Orchard and The MacDonald House will join in the pledge of darkness. Meanwhile, partygoers at Clarke Quay will also witness the hour of darkness.
WWF Singapore’s Managing Director Amy Ho said: “It’s wonderful and symbolic to have all these iconic buildings across Singapore pledge their support for Earth Hour. We’re talking about landmarks that are dear to many locals. Not only will it make for an impressive visual spectacle, it also sends a deep message to Singaporeans that we are united in the fight against climate change. As groundswell support grows for this global initiative, we urge everyone on the island to be part of something really big and special.”
The action of switching off lights represents one of the simple steps we can all take to cut our emissions on an ongoing basis, the ultimate goal of this awareness raising campaign. Being green makes both environmental and financial sense.
Other tips for greener living (and cost cutting) include:
- Switch off electrical devices at the plug instead of leaving them on standby;
- Use energy-efficient appliances;
- Avoid waste in the first place, by re-using and repairing items;
- Travel by public transport instead of by car – or better still, walk! Save the environment by getting fit;
- Fix dripping taps quickly;
- Collect rainwater and use it for watering the garden, instead of a hose from the mains;
- Cut down use of plastic grocery bags; shop with a reusable bag;
- Don’t keep the air-conditioning at its lowest temperature;
- Use a clothes line, not a dryer.
Getting involved in Earth Hour is easy. Supporters can simply follow a three step process;
- Sign up for Earth Hour 2009 on www.earthhour.org
- Switch off your lights for one hour on March 28 at 8.30pm
- Make a difference by reducing your impact on climate change on an on-going basis