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On your marks, get set, lights off

Every year, residents across the city do their bit for the environment by switching off lights during the ‘60+ Earth Hour’ campaign.

mumbai Updated: Mar 31, 2012 01:53 IST
Nikhil M Ghanekar
Nikhil M Ghanekar
Hindustan Times

Every year, residents across the city do their bit for the environment by switching off lights during the ‘60+ Earth Hour’ campaign.

Youth India, a non-profit organisation from Kandivli, is going one step further by urging residents of Thakur Complex to save energy as part of their daily lives instead only for an hour for the Earth Hour.

Driven by a team of students from the locality, Youth India has already roped in 15 housing societies to participate in the Earth Hour and plan to hold a cycle rally to urge more people to participate. “We are also urging residents to not stop their efforts to conserve energy at 9.30 pm when Earth Hour ends. We are asking them to switch off non-essential lights for 10 minutes every day. If we continue this routine daily, we will conserve a lot of energy,” said Dolesh Agarwal, founder, Youth India.

This is fourth year of Earth Hour, which is organised by the World Wide Fund (WWF) for Nature. It requires participants to switch off non-essential lights and electrical appliances for an hour, from 8.30 pm to 9.30 pm. In 2011, 10 million participated in the event from across the country. This year, the WWF expects 135 cities to participate in the event.

“Last year, Mumbai saved around 103MW of energy, which is sufficient to light around 1,11,961 houses. Nationally, we saved around 1,000 to 1,500MW of energy last year,” said Gauri Gurav, education officer, WWF-Maharashtra.

In Andheri, a group of young environmentalists from Youth in Favour of Change (YFC) plan to educate students from Samarth night school about global warming and climate change. The underprivileged students, comprising youngsters, vegetable vendors and labourers, will be shown a documentary on global warming before Earth Hour begins. “During Earth Hour, we will make them aware about climate change and explain the importance of small changes in personal lifestyles that can help conserve energy,” said AJ Thakkar, co-founder, YFC.

As in previous years, it looks like this time too residents from Powai will lead the way, with 50 buildings deciding to participate. To encourage participation, Powai-based Young Environmentalists Programme Trust has organised a competition in which the buildings that switch off the most lights will win crystal trophies.

“Last year, buildings from the Hiranandani conserved 5.17MW of energy. We will take out a solar lantern rally during Earth Hour to mark the importance of alternative energy,” said Elsie Gabriel, founder, Young Environmentalists Programme Trust.

First Published: Mar 31, 2012 01:52 IST