The Phoenix Foundation are New Zealand’s first band to sound their support for Earth Hour, the global climate change event which will see the lights of Christchurch - and 23 other cities around the globe - go out for one hour on 29 March at 8pm.
Earth Hour is a WWF-led initiative, which shows that small individual actions – like switching off a light – add up to a big difference in the fight against climate change. Christchurch is the first New Zealand city to commit to Earth Hour, with city lights and iconic buildings in Christchurch, and in Sydney, Bangkok, San Francisco and other forward thinking cities, being plunged into darkness as their citizens take a stand on climate change.
The Phoenix’s Richie Singleton, who also works for the Sustainability Trust based in Wellington, said: "A lot of people in New Zealand think our energy is quite green when it’s not and Earth Hour is a good way to get that knowledge out there, get people thinking about it all.
"Earth Hour draws attention to the fact that 34 per cent of New Zealand's electricity is generated by burning fossil fuels. We can actually make a significant reduction to our carbon emissions by making our homes and businesses more energy efficient and by simply switching things off at the wall."
Along with turning off their lights for one hour on Saturday 29 March, people who commit to Earth Hour are being asked to switch unused appliances off standby. Orion New Zealand will monitor the power usage in Christchurch, New Zealand’s Earth Hour city, to monitor the energy saved during Earth Hour.
"Stand-by power consumes around 10 per cent of an average household's electricity, and most of it goes on small appliances like DVD players. Over the course of a year a DVD player can use more electricity sitting in stand-by mode than it will actually playing DVDs," says Singleton.
Orion New Zealand will monitor the power use in Christchurch during Earth Hour to measure how much electricity is saved as the city powers-down. Earth Hour asks people and businesses who commit to Earth Hour to aim to reduce their carbon emissions by five per cent over the first year of Earth Hour. To find simple ways you can reduce your carbon emissions and lead a more sustainable life every day, go to http://www.wwf.org.nz/index.php?URL=http://www.sustainability.govt.nz.%26nbsp%3B
WWF is encouraging everyone in Christchurch and around New Zealand to get involved and commit to Earth Hour, as Dairne Poole, WWF-New Zealand Climate Change Manager explains: "Earth Hour is a chance for every person who is concerned about climate change to commit to making a difference in their own lives, starting with switching off their lights for Earth Hour. This is a huge global event which shows that what we might feel are small actions – like switching off a light, or turning off our appliances at the wall – add up to a big difference, collectively."
There will be acoustic music events in Christchurch on the night of Earth Hour, along with community-run events around the city.
You can register online to commit to turning out your lights for Earth Hour. Sign up to receive news and information about the night’s events, along with information on how to cut your carbon emissions and live Earth Hour every day.