JeVanne Gibbs
2 minute read
1 Mar 2014
11:45 am

Switch off for Earth Hour

JeVanne Gibbs

Switch off your lights and switch on your mind-set to preserve the planet's resources.

Miss Earth South Africa at the Earth Hour press conference, 28 February 2014, at the Johannesburg Zoo. Picture: Valentina Nicol

That was the World Wide Fund for Nature SA’s message yesterday, leading up to Earth Hour later this month.

The organisation launched a digital platform at the Johannesburg Zoo, where people from around the world were invited to pledge their commitment to conserving electricity.

WWF SA CEO Morné du Plessis said each time a promise was posted on the “how do you honour the earth” online platform, a virtual planet would be restored.

“The platform allows users to see the promises of other people and organisations and to share them on social media, with the intention of creating a conversation and momentum for the environment,” said Du Plessis.

“It is essential to remember that through our everyday consumer choices and how we spend our money, we are actually voting for the products, services and organisations that strive to live up to an environmental mandate. Let’s make choices that support our planet.”

At the launch yesterday, South African Airways pledged to become one of the world’s most sustainable airlines.

Lead SA pledged to continue to use its platforms to help conserve the earth.

A total of six municipalities countrywide had competed in the international Earth Hour city challenge for sustainable city management.

The City of Cape Town and eThekwini municipality in Durban were named finalists, with Cape Town having been selected as the country’s Earth Hour capital to compete against 32 other finalists worldwide.

The global winner would be announced in Vancouver, Canada, prior to Earth Hour.

This year’s Earth Hour would culminate on March 29 at 8.30pm, when people in countries throughout the world were expected to turn off lights for an hour as an act of symbolic unity.

“Beyond switching off lights, WWFSA urges everyone to make a promise to the earth and take action for the environment this year,” said Du Plessis.

“The time is now. Together we can leave a legacy of flourishing ecosystems, healthy rivers and abundant flora and wildlife.”