It started with an idea —turn off the lights for an hour — and became a movement. Every year on March 31 at 8.30pm, the Earth Hour — an initiative by WWF (World Wildlife Fund) — is observed. It has spread over 5200 cities and towns and has inspired 18 billion people across the globe. Hindustan Times is the principal partner of the Earth Hour; and today, we look into the city hotels and restaurants that are participating in the initiative.
While some city hotels are turning off all lights in their public area, restaurants, lobby, etc, and creating a candlelit ambience, others are serving a special Earth Hour menu or offering a discount on drinks during the hour. Celebrities such as model Miranda Kerr and cricket icon Sachin Tendulkar are official ambassadors of the initiative. “Earth Hour 2012 aims to encourage entire cities to collectively shift towards sustainable development,” says Ravi Singh, CEO, WWF India.
Hilton New Delhi/Janakpuri
As part of the Earth Hour, all lights will be switched off in the hotel’s public area, lobby and the restaurants from 8.30pm to 9.30pm. The area will be beautifully lit with candles instead. The all-day dining restaurant Twenty-9 will be serving a special Earth Hour cold menu and candlelight dinner during the hour. A road show for awareness about Earth Hour is also being organised in the morning. The guests will be educated about the initiative during check-in and will be encouraged to join in by switching off the lights in their rooms.
Where: Janakpuri District Centre Complex, New Delhi;
The hotel ensures that the guests welcome the Earth Hour in a good spirit amid a candlelit ambience. Besides turning off all lights in the hotel’s public area, lobby and restaurants — Le café, Seven and Sampan — from 7pm to 8pm, the Atrium bar will offer a 50% discount on drinks to encourage guests to step out of their rooms and join the hotel in the initiative. “75% of our guests are international travellers, and they appreciate our effort. If we come across unhappy guests, we’ll cheer them up and ask then to raise a toast to Earth Hour. The effort is for our future generations,” says Greesh Bindra, general manager of the hotel. Where: New Friends Colony. New Delhi; Tel: 011 26835070
From special flower arrangements in public area to posters and board messages, the ambience in the hotel will be created around the Earth Hour theme. While all safety equipment and emergency lights will be functional, non-essential lighting in the restaurants Bukhara, Dum Pukht, My Humble House, The Pavilion, Golf Bar, and the building’s exterior lighting will be shut off or downed at 8.30pm. Candles will be used instead. Letters will be sent to the guests to participate in the initiative. The hotel will be able to save approximately 300 units of electricity.
Where: Diplomatic Enclave, Sardar Patel Marg, New Delhi
Tel: 011 26112233
All guests will be informed about the Earth Hour initiative being taken by the hotel upon check-in and letters will be sent to them to join in. The guests can voluntarily participate and switch off the lights in their hotel rooms at 8.30pm. Standby flashlights/candles would be provided for guests in the rooms and lobby for that hour. All lights in public areas, including lobby, restaurants, driveway, poolside, building lights, facade will be shut and candles would be lit in the lobby, at the front desk, and the reception. Hotel restaurants will be candlelit and dinner will be served in a special ambience during that one hour. The hotel would be saving 100 units of electricity with this initiative. Where: 15 Parliament Street, New Delhi
Tel: 011 2374 3000
The Metropolitan Hotel & Spa
The hotel will observe the Earth Hour from 8.30 pm to 9.30pm, during which all lights in the public area will be switched off. Only the security zones and external walls will be kept lit, while candles will be used in other areas. Placards, posters and messages on TV screens will be used to inform guests about the initiative. “We have observed the Earth Hour earlier, and guests have been very cooperative. 85% of our guest are international travellers who know about Earth Hour,” says Sanzeev Bhatia, general manager of the hotel. Where: Bangla Sahib Road, New Delhi; Tel: 011 42500200
Courtyard by Marriott
The hotel aims to save approximately 500 units of energy in an hour by participating in the Earth Hour initiative. The hotel will either turn off or dim the lights at various spots. Only halogen lights will be used in all public areas during the hour. Although lights in the rooms will be kept switched on, the guests will be encouraged to participate. “The Earth Hour is the biggest climate awareness campaign ever and it’s great to be part of it,” says Abha Dwivedi, director of operations of the hotel.
Where: 27 B, B Block, Sushant Lok - 1, Sector 27, Gurgaon
Tel: 0124 488 8444
What’s Earth Hour
Earth Hour is a WWF initiative where citizens around the globe show their support for action on climate change by turning off lights for one hour. Cities, towns and municipalities across the world will turn off their lights for one hour at 8.30pm today. Earth Hour began in one city, in one country in 2007. More than 2.2 million households and businesses in Sydney, Australia, turned off their lights for one hour on Saturday, March 31, 2007. Just one year later, Earth Hour reach-ed 370 cities and towns in more than 35 countries across 18 time zones.
What you can do
Last year, Earth Hour reached out to over a billion people with a little over 6 million Indians participating in it. If you still have not joined in the initiative, here’s how you can contribute:
* Volunteer: It’s not that difficult to turn off the lights, TV or other electric appliances for an hour; just do it! Instead, light candles in your home, have a candlelight dinner or just step out of your home.
* Spread the word: Tell people about your Earth Hour pledge and encourage them to participate. Be creative; post your fun Earth Hour pictures online to prove that it can be fun.
City eateries join in
Here are some other restaurants in the city who will be turning off the lights during Earth Hour:
* Out of the box: At 5 Khan Market, Tel: 9711197796, 011 43065355
* Boombox cafe: N-8, Main Market. GK I. Tel: 9810015120
* Et Al cafe + bar: Moments Mall, Kirti Nagar. Tel: 011- 45508040/41
* Spasso, Saket: All kitchen preparations will also be avoided during the one hour. Tel: 011 41616677
* Zazen and Kink, Sector 18, Noida: Although lights will be on, only vegetarian food will be served during the hour. Tel: 0120 4044700.