Everyone is expected to participate in the World Wide Fund for nature’s (WWF) Earth Hour initiative today by switching off all electricity consuming appliances from 8.30 pm to 9.30 pm. And hopefully, many households will comply too. But one suburb in Mumbai has gone out of its way to do the right thing.
In its fourth year, the eco-friendly project called I Will If You Will is being spearheaded in Powai by Elsie Gabriels, founder, Young Environmentalists Programme. Apart from spreading the word, her team has also carried out a door-to-door campaign to convince those who don’t consider the move crucial. “People have always responded whenever we’ve reached out to them for such issues. They need to know that residential complexes conserve a lot of energy. We are expecting over 100 buildings to switch off,” says Elsie.
The Hiranandanis, who own many residential complexes in Powai, have also offered their whole-hearted support.
“Niranjan Hiranandani (the real estate tycoon) gave us inputs while we were organising the event, and his group has always helped conserve and recycle energy in the area,” she says, adding that their complexes are equipped with rainwater harvesting systems, water recycling plants and a vermicomposting garden.
Though elevators, main fans and kitchen lights are expected to be left on during the Earth Hour, Elsie’s foundation is trying to lure people out of their homes by giving them an option for entertainment.
“We have encouraged people to go for romantic walks or enjoy a free live concert by Viveck Shetty and his band at Veronica Fountains.” The concert at 8pm will feature songs with environmental context like ‘Yeh zameen ga rahi hai…’ from Teri Kasam (1982). Major hotel chains in the city have already scheduled celebrations for Earth Hour.