From 8.30pm to 9.30pm today, millions of people around the world will illuminate the dark with candles and lanterns to observe Earth Hour.
The stand against abusing Mother Nature began with WWF Australia in 2007, whose lights-out move to create awareness on climate change inspired other countries to follow suit.
Since then, Earth Hour has been observed on the last Saturday of March from 8.30pm, local time in each country.
Apart from just switching off non-essential lights, WWF encouraged people to participate in the celebration by organising environmentally fun events.
In Malaysia, some government and public companies have taken up this call to organise events that will shed new light on the effects of human actions on climate change and get them committed to caring for the environment.
1. National Space Agency
The National Space Agency (Angkasa), an agency under the Science, Technology and Innovation Ministry, will organise a Night@Planetarium event from 7.30pm to 10.30pm. It is open to the public and is free.
The event, now in its sixth year, will see an astrophotography exhibition, viewing planets and the moon in a night observation, and a do-it-yourself planet lantern and model orrery for children.
Other activities include screening of the movie Gravity in an outdoor cinema and a forum on light pollution.
2. The Federal Kuala Lumpur
The hotel and its sister hotels Hotel Capitol Kuala Lumpur and The Grace Hotel Sydney will join millions around the world to switch off lights for an hour to raise awareness on climate change.
The exterior lights of its main building and non-essential lights will be switched for an hour from 8.30pm.
Guests will be encouraged to leave minimal lights on.
Hotel Capitol Kuala Lumpur and The Federal will count down to Earth Hour by inviting guests to write their pledges at the entrance of both hotels.
“We also welcome tourists, shoppers and hotel guests to pedal a 57-year-old Merdeka trishaw and bicycle, powered by three small hubs of dynamo from the bicycle’s wheel, to light up an image of a goat made of recycled paper and decorated with LED lights,” said The Federal Kuala Lumpur general manager Simon Leong.
Publika will spend the day reminding all who walk through its doors about green living starting with a green market called Fuyoh Art Bazaar, a collaboration between Publika and environmental organisation, EcoKnights.
From 11am to 4pm, catch the screening of award-winning documentaries Damnation and GMO OMG, from 11am to 4pm at Black Box, MAP.
Bring your picnic blankets, mats and lanterns to The Square in Publika for a picnic from 5.30pm onwards.
The first 150 picnic-goers to register get a free candle and holder from Publika. Registration opens at 5pm at the Square.
There will be performances at The Square by Nyoba Kan Dancers Orang-Orang Drum Theatre and Keroncong Arif Lukisan.
4. Petaling Jaya City Council
The Solid Waste Management and Public Cleansing Corporation will hold an Earth Hour carnival today. Starting from 7.45pm, the public is invited to take part in family games, watch music performances and learn more about saving the environment.
Lights at Menara MBPJ in Jalan Tengah and its headquarters in Jalan Yong Shook Lin will be switched off for an hour followed by a candlelight dinner.
Council public relations officer Zainun Zakariah said organising Earth Hour activities was part of efforts promoting Petaling Jaya as a sustainable city and achieving the National Earth Capital Awards, which will be held in South Korea on April 9.
“We have held the campaign for six years now to remind the public to love the world and conserve it for our future generation,” she said.
5. Shah Alam City Council
Living up to its status as a sustainable city, the Shah Alam City Council will observe Earth Hour by educating the public on the dangers of global warming and the result of human actions that have threatened the environment.
The public can visit Dataran Kemerdekaan in Shah Alam at 8pm to watch the night cycling event.
“This year, we have close to 3,000 participants who will cycle 5km around the city as support for this campaign,” said council public relations officer Shahrin Ahmad.
Participation is free and those interested to take part can go to the council’s Facebook page or sign up at the registration booth at 6pm today.
Other activities planned for the night are a green initiative exhibition by government and private agencies, a stage performance, graffiti demonstration, and a flashmob. Children from the age of four to 12 can take part in a colouring contest from 7.30pm.
6. Carlsberg Malaysia
Not only will the brewery turn off its lights for an hour, it will also engage its consumers to “Unplug to Reconnect.”
The social media campaign initiated by Carlsberg Group calls for beer lovers to show support towards preserving Mother Earth and disconnect from their devices during the one hour period and spend some quality time with their family or friends.
The brewer also collaborated with Saito College by organising an Earth Hour video contest for its students. “We are committed to brew and grow our business sustainably and this is translated across our value chain,” said Carlsberg Malaysia corporate communications and corporate social responsibility director Pearl Lai.
Building on its support towards the Earth Hour movement, the brewer reduced energy consumption by 4,963kWH from 2008 to 2014, saving the environment from about 3,610kg of carbon dioxide emission.
7. The Curve
The Curve is holding a six-day campaign themed “Going Dark for the Future” that ends tomorrow..
It aims to educate and engage shoppers on the importance of protecting the planet.
A Recycle Fashion Mini Exhibition is being held on Fashion Walk, featuring six garments made by LimKokWing’s Fashion and Lifestyle students primarily out of recycled items.
A Luminous Dance Show will be held at The Piazza, with performers dressed in fluorescent costumes.
Children can also observe Earth Hour at the Kids Zone on the first floor between 2.30pm and 8pm, along with colouring workshops and face-painting.