Earth Hour is a global initiative that invites individuals, businesses, governments, and communities to turn off their lights for one hour at 8:30 p.m. on Sat., March 26 to show support for environmentally sustainable action. In the United States, Earth Hour is partnering with the Girl Scouts to bring the movement to life.
"Our organizations have a common purpose, to create a better environment for future generations,”"said Earth Hour Co-Founder and Executive Director Andy Ridley. "Girl Scouts make a tangible difference in their communities. The support of such a respected organization helps us contribute to the environmental education of young people and spread this global movement across generations and geographies."
Initially a single-city initiative in Sydney, Australia, in 2007, Earth Hour has become a global movement with hundreds of millions of people from every continent joining together to acknowledge the importance of protecting and improving the planet. Earth Hour 2010 was the world’s largest global climate change initiative, with millions of participants in more than 4,600 cities across nearly 130 countries and territories. Since its inception in 2007, Earth Hour’s "lights out" event has seen some of the world's most recognized landmarks switch off their lights, including the Eiffel Tower in Paris, Buckingham Palace in London, San Francisco's Golden Gate Bridge and the Forbidden City in China.
This year nearly 20 Girl Scout Councils from across the country will be organizing Earth Hour activities on March 26, including several in the Northeast.
"Our girls care deeply about the environment, and this partnership gives them a simple way to share this passion with their friends, families and communities," said Kathy Cloninger, chief executive officer of Girl Scouts of the USA. "It's important that we all do our part to protect the environment."
Examples of projects include:
• The Girl Scout Council of the Florida Panhandle is encouraging people to lower energy use by replacing regular light bulbs with compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs). More than 400 girls have distributed 3,500 CFLs at cookie booths across 19 counties as part of the campaign.
• The Girl Scouts of Colorado is planning an event at the Colorado State Capitol in Denver to go dark for Earth Hour and have girls with rechargeable flashlights form the letters "GS" on the west steps. Girls are encouraging communities to install energy-saving light bulbs and are handing out bulbs to communities across the state.
In addition, many Girl Scouts are taking activities beyond the hour by installing ENERGY STAR-qualified or other energy-efficient light bulbs in homes, schools and businesses during the month of March.
The Earth Hour collaboration is one part of the Girl Scouts' broader commitment to environmental sustainability. Girl Scouts Forever Green (GSFG), the Girl Scouts' 100th Anniversary Take Action Project, is a national effort of girls leading their families, schools and communities in improving the environment and protecting natural resources. The effort offers a meaningful leadership experience that makes a positive impact on the environment through three key projects: 1) using reusable water bottles and bags to reduce plastic waste; 2) planting and maintaining rain gardens at schools, homes and other sites; and 3) participation in Earth Hour events. Participants are also encouraged to take an online pledge stating their yearlong commitment to GSFG efforts. Beginning in July, all 112 Girl Scout councils and USA Girl Scouts Overseas will be invited to participate in Girl Scouts Forever Green.
"The Girl Scouts Forever Green project is a great example of how organizations can take Earth Hour beyond the hour and make a positive difference for the future of the planet," Ridley added.
Earth Hour 2011 asks the world to:
• Switch off lights for Earth Hour at 8:30 p.m., Sat., March 26, and celebrate a commitment to the planet with the people of the world;
• Sign up and share stories of actions that benefit the planet on http://www.earthhour.org/; and
• Sustain environmentally focused actions beyond the hour and share your act with the world at www.earthhour.org/beyondthehour.
For more information, visit http://www.earthhour.org/or www.girlscouts.org/forevergreen.
About Earth Hour
Earth Hour is a global initiative in partnership with WWF. Individuals, businesses, governments and communities are invited to turn out their lights for one hour on Saturday, March 26, 2011 at 8:30 p.m. to show their support for environmentally sustainable action.
About Girl Scouts
Founded in 1912, Girl Scouts of the USA is the preeminent leadership development organization for girls with 3.4 million girl and adult members worldwide. Girl Scouts is the leading authority on girls' healthy development, and builds girls of courage, confidence, and character, who make the world a better place. The organization serves girls from every corner of the United States and its territories. Girl Scouts of the USA also serves American girls and their classmates attending American or international schools overseas in 90 countries. For more information on how to join, volunteer, reconnect or donate to Girl Scouts, call (800) GSUSA 4 U (800-478-7248) or visit www.girlscouts.org. For more information on It's Your Planet, Love it visit www.girlscouts.org/program/journeys/your_planet
Source: Girls Scouts of the USA, Earth Hour