Monday, March 24, 2008

Earth Hour celebrated March 29

Candleabra in Norway

I missed Earth Hour last year. It originated in Sydney, Australia and was a huge success -- nearly 2.3 million Sydney-siders participated by turning off their lights for one hour.

Coordinated by the World Wildlife Fund, it resulted in a 10.2% reduction in Sydney's energy consumption. That's equivalent of taking 48,000 cars off the road for one year.

A number of Canadian hotels and restos are getting into the act. The Sutton Place Grande Hotels Group, with hotels in Vancouver/Edmonton/Toronto/Chicago, is turning off the lights in its buildings for one hour at 8 PM PDT on Saturday, March 29.

Hotel guests will also be invited to participate by switching off all non-essential lighting, computers, televisions and appliances during that hour.

In Vancouver, lights that outline the iconic green copper roof of The Fairmont Hotel Vancouver will cease to illuminate the Vancouver skyline, and guests will dine to the flicker of candlelight in Griffins and 900 West.

Five blocks away, the Fairmont Waterfront will rely on the daylight streaming through the floor-to-ceiling windows to illuminate the airy marble lobby -- holding off on flicking the light switches for as long as Mother Nature allows. From 8-9 PM, Herons Restaurant guests will enjoy candlelit dining while the hotel dining room observes Earth Hour with the dimming of the lights.

Also in Vancouver, restaurateur Harry Kambolis is shutting off lights at his three restaurants: C Restaurant, Raincity Grill and Nu Restaurant + Lounge will flick the switch and serve by candlelight from 8-9 PM on March 29.

A candleabra in Norway. Photo by Sue Frause.

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