Earth Hour Live

Tonight, millions of people are joining together, and turning off their lights to help make a difference and raise awareness about the issue of global warming. See how the world is taking part, with these live news feeds and images from participating cities. Don't forget to share your Earth Hour moments too. Remember - turn off your lights!

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Christchurch looks back on Earth Hour

As 8pm approached in Christchurch the sun was going down and Cathedral Square was gradually filling with a myriad of different people. Some looked with curiosity at the numerous sustainability displays – others enthusiastically chattered and pointed, while more began settle into camping chairs in front of the large movie screen, making an outing of the evening. A group of kids shrieked with laughter as the bounced around an enormous blow-up earth. Though a diverse crowd, there was a strong sense of community and deliberacy, with everyone gathered in response to the overall message: we can, and should make a difference – and a little goes a long way!

As the hour came, the crowd joined together in a countdown reminiscent of a New Years Celebration – ending, instead of a burst of fireworks, with the slow chime of the Cathedral Bells. Then lights lowered around the square, and the crowds turned their attention to the screen as it sprang to life.

In the surrounding blocks many restaurants and bars were also noticeably dimmer. The occasion brought extra people out on the town, to enjoy a variety of novelty dinning, drinking and dancing experiences. At the Dux de Lux, candlelit tables created a funky atmosphere, heightened by the acoustic sounds of local singer Lauren Mitchell. The enjoyment was apparent, but so was the obvious effort taken by so many businesses to seriously consider energy reduction.

An hour later the absorbed crowds in Cathedral Square were still fixed in front of the screen, watching ‘The 11th Hour.’ It wasn’t long before the good news came through – thanks to the combined commitment of businesses and household alike, Christchurch had made a 13.1% energy reduction!

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