Pinoys in Austria join in Earth Hour campaign

by Hector Pascua, ABS-CBN Europe News Bureau

Posted at Apr 03 2012 10:13 AM | Updated as of Apr 04 2012 04:35 AM

VIENNA, Austria - Millions of houses and institutions around the world, including in Vienna, participated in the Earth Hour, an initiative of the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) last March 31, 2012.

During the campaign, lights were switched off. The Earth Hour is an initiative that highlighted energy conservation.

Austrian Chancellor Werner Faymann ordered all lights switched off at landmarks in state capitals in the country.

In addition, Federal President Heinz Fischer likewise switched off the lights in the Hofburg, the President’s office.

“It is a very good idea. Nevertheless, I think that just switching the lights off on March 31, 2012 is not enough. This should not only a symbolic act but rather should be put into real action,” said Manuel Garin, a Pinoy hotel worker commented.

Garin and his Filipino friends in Vienna said they extended the one hour Earth Hour at home.

“It was a memorable night for us in the family since we were together and lighted some candles in our living room. Naging very romantic nga dahil parang nasa candle light dinner kami,” Garin added.

Another Filipino hotel worker urged Filipinos to try and save energy on a daily basis, not just for an hour, but for an entire year.

“That is until the Earth Hour 2013. Let's spread the word around using the social media,” Marlon Guinto said.

“I find this initiative a very convincing one. It is amazing to note that millions of people all over the world have been joining the action since 2007. I believe that it is really an appropriate time and move of all people across the world from all walks of life to turn off their lights and join together in celebration and contemplation of the one thing we all have in common – our planet,” said Volet SB Gerstl of the Philippine-European Bulletin.

In its editorial, the Austro-Asian Press, a Philippine news magazine, commented that the Earth Hour has done a lot to raise awareness about the issue of climate change. But there’s more to it than just by switching off lights for one hour once a year. It stated that it’s also about working together to create a sustainable low carbon future for our planet.

Earth Hour began in 2007 in Sydney, where more than 2 million people and more than 2000 businesses switched off their lights for one hour to show that they care for the planet. It has become a worldwide event and is held on the last Saturday of March, encouraging households and businesses to switch off their non-essential lights for one hour to raise awareness about the need to take action on climate change. The action had become so popular that more than 35 countries joined in.