Friday, March 27, 2009

Environmental Groups Call For Hour-Long Blackout

Still looking for that easy way to save money and help the environment? It's simple -- just turn out your lights. The World Wildlife Federation (WWF) is asking all households and businesses across the world to shut off any unecessary lights or appliances for "Earth Hour" Saturday night, from 8:30 to 9:30. Pennsylvania's Department of Environmental Protection is also urging state residents to participate. DEP spokesman John Repetz says the WWF uses this as more of a symbolic event to raise awareness than as a consistent campaign. "[Last year,] they did notice a two percent drop in electrical usage in some areas. It might not seem significant, but what we're hoping is people will understand that they don't need all those lights on at one time," says Repetz. "Perhaps an event like this brings you back to reality and makes you realize that something as simple as turning out those unused lights can pay big dividends." Governor Ed Rendell is also in strong support of the effort: the lights of the Capitol Dome in Harrisburg will be blackened for Earth Hour. The WWF estimates that as many as 50 million people worldwide took part in last year's event.

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