Earth Hour, a World Wildlife Fund initiative, began four years ago in Sydney, Australia when millions turned off their lights, electronics, devices to show the impact of our power usage on the planet particularly with regards to climate change. The campaign has continued to grow and last year 128 countries took part as global monuments went dark for a single hour, on the same day, for this single cause. With over 1 billion people participating, it was the largest voluntary action ever witnessed on the planet.
Earth Hour 2011 will take place Saturday, March 26, 2011 at 8:30pm (local time, wherever you are) and when you get so many people shutting off unnecessary lights for 60 minutes, it’s amazing to see the impact. It may seem like a small gesture but it is a great reminder (even if it’s annually) to be aware of our power usage.
There are many ways to participate and the Earth Hour website has everything from downloads and social media tips, to badges and buttons to help you get involved.
In Vancouver, many organizations, individuals, and businesses have taken part over the years. For 2011, I have partnered with the Fairmont Hotel Vancouver and Fairmont Waterfront Hotel (2 of 64 participating Fairmont Hotels around the world) to promote their Earth Hour initiatives and offer up two special prizes for my readers.
Herons West Coast Kitchen + Bar will host the “Green and Glow” event for Earth Hour March 26th. The candlelit dinner menu options will include Cornmeal Oyster Sliders, Grilled Chanterelle Mushroom Flatbread, Cedar Plank Pecorino Cheese with Roof Top Honey, B.C. Spot Prawns and Qualicum Bay Scallops, Sweet Corn Applewood Bacon Risotto, and Milk Chocolate Slice, Earl Grey Ice Cream. Executive Chef Dore uses sustainable seafood as a part of the Ocean Wise program. They will also offer signature cocktails like the Green Eco-tini and Roof Top Honey Caiprioska that feature concoctions infused with herbs plucked from the kitchenâ€™s rooftop garden.
Locals and visitors alike can take advantage of Earth Hour perks such as 20% off room rates (March 25-27) and hybrid vehicle owners enjoying complimentary valet. The Fairmont Waterfront will also donate $20 in the guest’s name to the World Wildlife Fund (“WWF”).
Contest prize: $150 gift certificate to enjoy Herons at the Fairmont Waterfront on March 26th during Earth Hour.
Fairmont Hotel Vancouver
Website, Twitter, Facebook
As the lights go dark for Earth Hour, Vancouver’s ‘Castle in the City’ will switch to candlelight and acoustic music along with menus that help support the WWF. Griffins Restaurant will offer a $23 three-course raw decadent chocolate fondue and 900 West Lounge will have Piper-Heidsieck champagne specials. 10% of the raw menu and $1 from every glass ($5 for every bottle) of champagne will go to the cause.
Contest prize: Chocolate fondue and champagne in 900 West Lounge, valued at $150.
Here’s how you can enter to win one of these two Fairmont Earth Hour prizes:
I will draw two winners at random from all entries on Tuesday, March 22nd at 9:00am. Gift certificates for each experience are to be used on Saturday March 26th, 2011 for Earth Hour at either the Fairmont Hotel Vancouver or Fairmont Waterfront downtown. If a selected winner cannot attend on the 26th, a new winner will be drawn.
Follow Earth Hour on Twitter, Facebook, Flickr, the official blog, and YouTube.
Update The winner of the Fairmont Waterfront gift certificate is “au” and the Fairmont Hotel Vancouver gift certificate goes to @louisemlynch.