AUSTRALIAN CAPITAL CELEBRATES EARTH HOUR BY TURNING OFF ITS LIGHTS

Switch off a power of good

BY HENRIETTA COOK
27 Mar, 2011 01:00 AM
CANBERRA was transformed from a dazzling city into a sea of darkness last night as businesses, public institutions and households switched off their lights in support of Earth Hour.The best place to view the transformation was at the peak of Mt Ainslie, where crowds of people rugged up and eagerly waited for 8.30pm to arrive.

Parliament House, the National Gallery and the War Memorial were plunged into darkness as the city took part in one of the world’s largest climate change initiatives.

Businesses that stood in darkness included Tuggeranong’s Hyperdome Shopping Centre, Crowne Plaza and the Ernst & Young Building.

The Sydney Opera House was the first of many global landmarks to go dark last night, followed by the Eiffel Tower in Paris and the world’s tallest building in Dubai.

”The amount of power that’s saved during that time is not really what it’s about,” Earth Hour co-founder and executive director Andy Ridley said in Sydney, where the movement began in 2007.

”What it is meant to be about is showing what can happen when people come together.”

Mr Ridley said a record 134 countries or territories were on board for the event, which organisers have dubbed the world’s largest voluntary action for the environment.

Other landmarks that will go dark for the hour are Times Square in New York, Beijing’s Bird’s Nest Stadium that hosted the 2008 Olympic Games, the London Eye and Brazil’s Christ the Redeemer statue.

Restaurants across Canberra shunned harsh lights in favour of candles, adding an air of romanticism to even the most casual meals.

Caphs in Manuka switched off its lights and provided diners with a candle-lit dinner experience.

Owner Emanual Notaras, who has run the restaurant for 18 years, said this was the third year the business had been involved in the movement.

”The staff got involved a few years ago and it was successful. Customers appreciate it too and have responded very well. I think having younger staff has made me more conscious about the environment,” he said.

Sourced & published by Henry Sapiecha

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