San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

World Aims for an Hour Of Darkness on Saturday

For the second year in a row, Costa Rica will participate in Earth Hour on Saturday, March 27.

Earth Hour is a global event organized by the World Wildlife Foundation to raise awareness about climate change.

As part of the event, citizens worldwide will turn off their lights from 8:30 p.m. until 9:30 p.m. in an international call for a low-carbon future.

“We can all add to this effort,” said Pedro León, director of Costa Rica’s Peace with Nature initiative. “All it requires is flipping off a light.”

Last year, the Costa Rican Electricity Institute (ICE) calculated that the country lowered the demand for electricity during Earth Hour by 95 megawatts, the equivalent off 400,000 homes switching off the lights.

The event began in 2007 inSydney, Australia, where 2.2 million homes and businesses turned off the lights for an hour to dramatize the country’s desire to combat the effects of climate change.

Last year, more than 4,000 cities in 88 countries participated in Earth Hour.

The goal in 2010 is to achieve the participation of one billion people in more than 6,000 cities.

In Costa Rica, ICE will measure how much energy is saved during Saturday’s earth hour and thereby gauge the approximate number of Costa Ricans who participated. More than 2,000 Costa Ricans have already pledged their support via the social networking site Facebook:!/group.php?gid=57642661573&ref=search&sid=48601734.347923071..1

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–Mike McDonald


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