Both women have thrown their celebrity status behind Earth Hour, a WWF-led initiative which uses the simple action of turning off the lights to deliver a powerfully symbolic message about the need for action on climate change.
At 8pm on Saturday March 29, along with thousands of others in Christchurch and millions around the world, they will turn off lights and household appliances for one hour.
"It’s a small act that delivers a big message," says WWF-New Zealand Executive Director, Chris Howe.
"It reminds us that there is much we can do, big and small, to make a difference to climate change. Quite literally, the power is in our hands."
March 29 is already special for Seymour – it’s her 37th birthday. "Seeing as I'm so old I'll have that many candles on my cake that maybe all the lights will be dimmed but you'll still be able to see my house from the glow of the candles."
Seymour, a member of the Canterbury Tactix netball team, said Earth Hour was important to her as a mother. "Having young kids, it starts making you think about what the world's going to be like when they are my age," she said. "Yes, they can learn about these things at school, but on a day-to-day basis there're things that you can be doing at home with your family."
Although she lives on Auckland’s North Shore, Malcolm plans to be in Christchurch on Earth Hour night with her family. As an Earth Hour ambassador she will be at the celebrations in the city centre, though her two sons have other plans: "My boys will probably be running around in the dark somewhere in a friend's house by candlelight," she said.
She encouraged people to take part in Earth Hour, saying: "Although we can look at issues like climate change and the environment as the responsibility of big business and government, communities have a responsibility, and communities are made up of individuals. We are a global community and every little thing you do - like turning off the lights for Earth Hour - makes a difference."
Being environmentally responsible can be a battle, she says, but there is always something we can do. "Just use less – just don't buy that thing. And use your vote – lobby the Government."
Anyone can take part in Earth Hour, by turning out their lights for one hour at 8pm on Saturday 29 March. Sign up to Earth Hour at http://www.earthhour.org/
About Earth Hour Christchurch
Earth Hour Christchurch is a community event, led by WWF-New Zealand and The Press, and supported by Christchurch City Council, Environment Canterbury, the Ministry for the Environment and Orion, amongst others. It has the backing of ChristChurch Cathedral and the Employers Chamber of Commerce. All people and businesses can take part in Earth Hour by switching off their lights for one hour at 8pm on 29 March 2008. During Earth Hour people and businesses are also invited to turn off appliances from standby.
WWF is the world's largest and most experienced independent conservation organization. It has close to five million supporters and a global network active in more than 100 countries. WWF’s mission is to stop the degradation of the planet's natural environment and to build a future in which humans live in harmony with nature.
What’s Your Next Step?
The Ministry for the Environment is an Earth Hour partner, as part of its What's your next step? sustainability challenge http://www.sustainability.govt.nz/. The campaign challenges New Zealanders to take action to live more sustainably – from small easy steps that can begin today, to those that may take more time and investment. Anyone who signs up to What’s your next step? goes in the draw to win a centameter, which measures — and can help reduce — electricity use. One centameter will be given away each week until the end of March 2008.
Jenny Riches, WWF-New Zealand+64 (0)4 471 4288 / 0274 477158