Earth Hour is supposed to be a party.
“We absolutely, in designing Earth Hour, had a celebration in mind,” said World Wildlife Fund spokesman Josh Laughren. “It is supposed to be a fun, engaging and positive look at what is possible. It isn’t about sitting in the dark being depressed about climate change.”
This Saturday will mark the third year that residents in Ottawa have participated in Earth Hour.
A global movement that invites individuals, businesses, governments and communities to turn out all non-essential lighting from 8:30 to 9:30 p.m. on Saturday in support of action on climate change, Earth Hour began in Sydney, Australia, in 2007 and has since spread to cities worldwide.
According to Mayor Larry O’Brien, enough energy was saved in Ottawa last year to power 55 houses for a month.
Already, Earth Hour-themed get-togethers are popping up all over the web, with helpful tips for ways to spend the evening in the dark.
“My group of friends really enjoys theme parties,” said Ottawa party planner, Katie Stewart. “So we thought it would be fun to get together for the environment.”
Stewart is planning to break out some board games and hold an ugliest candle competition.
“I encouraged people to bring appetizers with an environmental theme, like organic or fair trade,” she said.
The outdoors is another energy-saving option for those looking for ways to spend their hour of darkness. If you stop by Parliament Hill prior to 8:30 p.m., you can watch the lights go out on the Peace Tower and participate in the Green party’s candlelight vigil.