Earth Hour in CEE, 29 March, 8.30 pm
Throughout the world as the clocks strikes 8.30 pm local time, lights will be switched off for one hour as a symbolic reminder of how we should be cutting down our energy use. Slovakia will be no exception with individuals, villages, towns and cities joining the event along with the rest of Central and Eastern Europe.
A city competition, an unplugged concert on a boat, a cyclothon and an eco map
“Be a hero for the planet” and “Tag and solve” are the two appeals to the public in Ukraine. A website – http://www.ecomap.org – was launched a month before the Earth Hour. Ukrainians can tag environmental problems they have encountered in their city, region or community and join forces with others to solve them. WWF partners with local NGOs to provide step-by-step instructions how to tackle the issues according to Ukrainian legislation.
In Romania WWF launched the third edition of the Earth Hour Capital race. This time 13 cities compete transforming themselves into more friendly places for people and the environment. They organize debates, polls on environmental problems, astronomy nights, flashmobs, music and poetry recitals, cooking and hiking events.
All in all, at least 30 Romanian cities and towns will join Earth Hour officially on Saturday evening. Among the most exciting landmarks to switch off for Earth Hour in Romania are Parliament Palace in Bucharest – the biggest civil building in the world, the Romanian Aetheneum, Bran (Dracula) Castle, Peles Castle in Sinaia, the whole historic centre of Brasov, Brukenthal Museum in Sibiu.
The main Earth Hour event in Romania will take place in Carol Park in the capital Bucharest, with an unplugged event featuring Sistem, Muse Quartet (aka Rosia Montana Quartet), fire jugglers and many other special moments. One of more than 4,400 applicants will win a domestic solar panel in a competition to switch to renewable energy and reduce footprint.
Scouts from Rosia Montana village – which became world famous for its resistance to a massive gold mine project, invite all children from the area to an astronomic observation.
More than 100 cities and towns in Bulgaria will switch off the lights of major landmarks and public buildings to celebrate Earth Hour 2014. Parades, contests and fire shows are also taking place downtown.
Multiplex cinemas in a dozen cities will ask movie-goers to share on the back of their tickets what they plan to do to live more sustainably. The most exciting ideas will be awarded.
In the capital Sofia the buildings of Parliament, state government, National Theater, Bulgarian National Bank and Sofia University will be among those that will plunge into darkness for Earth Hour.
A record is set this year in Serbia with more than 80 and towns participating officially in Earth Hour. More than 50 schools and 75 NGOs will take part in the events.
The main event will take place at the Republic Square in Belgrade where more than 40 kids of Serbia’s most famous children’s choir Kolibri (‘Hummingbirds’) will sing their special repertoire dedicated to environment protection. All participants of the special Earth Hour Cyclothon will join the main event and will symbolically switch off the lights on their bikes.
The local team of Earth Hour also have inspired some of the most famous writers and columnists to write short essays on the topic “The most beautiful things always happen in the dark”. These essays will engage thousands of Serbian ‘netizens’ to submit their own stories and participate in a social media competition.
In partnership with Canon, ‘visual types’ of planet savers can participate in a photo competition for the best photo without a flashlight.
There are 17 Serbian ambassadors of Earth Hour this year from bands, choirs and TV shows. One of the most popular chefs in the region will prepare a romantic candlelight dinner at his restaurant.
In Hungary almost 60 cities and towns pledged to take part officially in Earth Hour. An unplugged concert with Zöld and Random Trip will take place on a floating boat in the Danube river in Budapest. The event will be broadcasted live on national radio. Three lucky households who participate in Earth Hour will have all their lights changed to LEDs.
- Konstantin Ivanov, WWF Danube-Carpathian Programme, +359 884 514 636, E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
WWF is one of the world’s largest and most respected independent conservation organizations, with over 5 million supporters and a global network active in over 100 countries. WWF’s mission is to stop the degradation of the earth’s natural environment and to build a future in which humans live in harmony with nature, by conserving the world’s biological diversity, ensuring that the use of renewable natural resources is sustainable, and promoting the reduction of pollution and wasteful consumption (www.panda.org/dcpo).