GEORGE TOWN: Hotels along Penang’s famous Batu Ferringhi tourist belt went dark for Earth Hour 2023.
Most of them turned off all unnecessary lighting and only kept essential ones in public areas dim from 8.30pm to 9.30pm in line with the global movement observed in more than 190 countries and territories on Saturday.
They organised activities to encourage guests to enjoy nature and spend time partaking in meaningful outdoor activities.
Sister properties Shangri-La Rasa Sayang and Shangri-La Golden Sands invited some 20 children from surrounding communities to repurpose discarded plastic food containers into battery-powered LED lamps and arrange them in the form of a “60+”.
Some vacationers also joined in, such as married couple Brian Cheang, 32, and Sherine Goh, 29, who were on a weekend getaway from Kuala Lumpur.
“We were enjoying the sunset on the beach, saw the flicker of lights and went to check it out.
“It’s heartening to see people come together to effect change,” Goh said.
The resorts’ director of communications Suleiman Tunku Abdul Rahman said they had been observing Earth Hour for many years as the group was committed to being environmentally responsible and resource-efficient as part of its green policies.
“We’ve adopted new practices to operate our resorts sustainably.
“We believe that we all inherited a beautiful planet, and thus have a moral responsibility to protect it.
“After all, it is our home,” he said during the event.
At Angsana Teluk Bahang, some 135 guests and 37 staff members participated in a similar event at the beachfront.
They lighted lamps and placed them inside a giant “60” ringed by a circle.
At 11m in diameter, the glowing sign was visible to all who looked down from the balconies above.
Staff members also took part in an inter-departmental trash-to-art contest, with the upcycled creations later displayed for guests to vote on.
“Communities that are exposed to such a global movement can make a big difference as they get a better understanding of conservation efforts.
“They are typically the ones that could make small changes for a greater good,” said the hotel’s marketing and communications director Jeanize Low.
Earth Hour is organised by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF). Its aim is to rally global citizens to take positive action in addressing environmental issues, particularly climate change and loss of biodiversity.
Since the first event in Sydney in 2007, countless individuals, communities, businesses and governments worldwide have joined in the symbolic show of support.
This has translated into millions of hours of action and awareness, creating a domino effect whose impact continues way beyond the 60 minutes of darkness.
The “60+” logo was introduced to encourage taking the commitment further than the hour.