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Castlegar issues Earth Hour challenge

Ed. Note: The following is a press release issued by the City of Castlegar:

Castlegar is once again challenging neighbours in the West Kootenay to do their part to slow climate change. Earth Hour is a global movement to encourage people to reduce energy consumption and bring attention to a cause that grows more urgent by the hour.

Participation is easy.

Turn off your electronics for one hour on March 27, at 8:30 p.m.

That’s it!

In March 2009, Castlegar citizens handily won the award for best participation in the West Kootenay, with 56 per cent of the total, beating out Nelson's 25 per cent and Trail's 19 per cent. That same year, hundreds of millions of people took part in the third-ever Earth Hour, with over 4,000 cities in 88 countries officially switching off their electronics to pledge their support for the planet. Among West Kootenay residents,

Earth Hour 2009 recorded a 2.11-per-cent reduction in energy demand for the area, a significant improvement over 2008, which recorded a zero-per-cent reduction.

How does it all add up?

Lighting alone amounts to roughly 15 per cent of all residential electricity consumption and 45 per cent of commercial. Reducing emissions adds up even more when you use beeswax or soy candles as an alternative to petroleum-based products.

Let’s have ‘Earth Hours’ every night in 2010!

If all residential and commercial buildings shut off their lights every night for a year, it would displace the same amount of emissions as 1/3 of the cars on our city's roads – 760 tonnes of carbon dioxide!

What do you plan to do with the lights out for Earth Hour? Enter your pledge on the FortisBC website (http://fortisbc.com/powersense/earth_hour_pledge.html) and let them know what you plan to do with an hour in the dark. You could win a weekend getaway in Kelowna or a FortisBC prize pack that will help you save even more electricity.

People across the world from all walks of life will turn off their lights and join together in celebration and contemplation of the one thing we all have in common – our planet. So sign up now and let’s make 2010 the biggest Earth Hour yet!