Earth Hour a ‘win-win’ for our environment and our wallets

On March 31, both the Township and the City of Langley will turn off their lights between 8:30 and 9:30 p.m. as part of Earth Hour.

  • Mar. 28, 2012 5:00 a.m.

It is a simple, effective way of making a difference, and everyone is invited to join in.

On Saturday, March 31, both the Township and the City of Langley will help to combat climate change by turning off their lights between 8:30 and 9:30 p.m. as part of Earth Hour. Organized by the World Wildlife Fund and sponsored locally in part by BC Hydro. Earth Hour is an annual global effort designed to make a difference for the planet.

“Not only can individual participation and simple changes make a big difference for our planet, but they could also lead to money staying in our community,” said Township of Langley environmental co-ordinator Ryan Schmidt.

“In a typical year, as a community, we spend roughly $61 million on electricity. There are small things we can all do to reduce our electricity use to combat climate change and prevent some of this money from flowing out of our community. It truly is a win-win.”

During the March 31 event, lights at the Township’s Civic Facility, Operations Centre, libraries, and Langley Centennial Museum will be shut off. Non-essential lights at recreation centres and leased facilities, as well as at fire halls, community police stations, and the Langley RCMP detachment will also be turned off.

The Township’s participation in Earth Hour will not affect the operation of public facilities that will be open at that time. Lights required for security, parking, or safety will remain on, but will be dimmed or reduced if possible.

“Energy conservation happens one household at a time,” said Langley City Mayor Peter Fassbender.

“I encourage residents to think beyond this symbolic ‘one-hour’ event to changes that can be made on an ongoing basis which will result in continued reduction of energy requirements in Langley and across B.C.”

Provincially, participation in last year’s event resulted in a 1.8 percent reduction in the provincial electricity load, in just one hour.

Residents and businesses are also encouraged to take part in Earth Hour by signing up at EarthHourCanada.org.

Did you know?

• Earth Hour was started in 2007 by WWF in Sydney, Australia

• Last year, residents and businesses in the Township of Langley achieved a 1.34 per cent reduction in electricity demand during Earth Hour — annualized, this represents a value of nearly $820,000.

• The World Health Organization estimates that climate change is already causing more than 150,000 deaths a year

• Currently, Canada is one of the top 10 nations contributing to global climate change.

• In Canada, 36 per cent  of our national energy mix is from non-renewable sources.