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    Get out your flashlights for Earth Hour (watch the Coldplay-soundtracked trailer)

    earthhour2010.jpgTonight (Saturday 27th March), WWF is hoping a billion people around the world will switch off their lights for one hour on behalf of Earth Hour, to show their support of climate change. Just turn off the lights, and you're in. We'd love to see your city's photos of Earth Hour in whichever city you're in - simply post photos to the Coldplay forum or just join in the discussion so far.


    Coldplay's Fix You is the featured music track behind the official video for Earth Hour and you can watch the trailer again at the forum now. [thanks In a telescope lens]


    Landmarks like the Great Pyramids of Giza, the Empire State Building in New York, St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican, the Eiffel Tower in Paris, Sydney's Opera House, and the Acropolis and Parthenon in Athens will go dark for one hour. New monuments turning off the lights this time include Mount Rushmore in South Dakota, the Forbidden City in Beijing, the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin, Toronto's CN Tower, the Burj Khalifa (world's tallest building) in Dubai, and the Bosphorus Bridge that links Asia to Europe in Turkey.

    Countries like the Czech Republic, Madagascar, Nepal, Panama, Saudi, Arabia, Lithuania, and the Cook Islands will participate in the light's out demonstration for their first time in 2010. They're joining Earth Hour originator Australia and past participants such as Brazil, Hong Kong, Egypt, Great Britain, Switzerland, and Japan.


    Why? The power bills won't go down dramatically with the lights dimmed for just one hour. (And don't worry, there won't be a power surge from people turning lights off and then back on all at once.) The goal of the World Wildlife Fund-sponsored event isn't to save energy on this one day -- it's to raise awareness of climate change and energy conservation all year round.


    Earth Hour is only 60 minutes. It's a start, maybe a wake-up call for some when they see landmarks and cities go dark. What we do the rest of the day and the rest of the year is what counts in the long run. So use this hour in the dark to plan what you're really going to do to help the planet. There are lots of things that take less than one hour but add up to a lot of conservation. For example, you could start doing any of these things:


    •Turn off lights when you leave a room for 15 minutes or longer.

    •Drink tap water instead of bottled water.

    •Put your computer in power-save mode.

    •Turn off video game consoles when not in use.

    •Seal air leaks, adjust your water heater, and control your thermostat to lower energy usage and waste.

    •Go meatless on Mondays.

    •Watch out for energy vampires around the house and unplug the biggies.

    •Swap out all your light bulbs for CFLs.

    •Stop catalogs and junk mail from piling up in your mailbox.

    •Reduce the brightness of your TV set to the "home" mode.

    •Use up leftovers, compost, and avoid wasting food.

    •Find out how walkable your hometown is and try walking to your weekend errands.

    •Fix a leaky faucet or toilet.

    •Use the low-water and low-heat settings on your dishwasher, and don't pre-rinse dishes.

    •Hang your clothes to dry on a clothesline in spring and summer.

    •Take public transit to work or school.

    •Install dimmer switches on your lights and plug appliances into smart power switches.


    Last year's Earth Hour dimmed important landmarks all over the world (2009):












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