CORNWALL, Ontario - A six-year-old movement to mark awareness around energy consumption will be celebrated this weekend - and local environmentalists say the message continues to resonate.
Earth Hour will take place Saturday from 8:30 to 9:30 p.m. People are being asked to turn off their lights for an hour. The message has gotten so powerful that landmarks the world over will see their lights and electronics powered down to promote energy conservation.
Local environmentalist Elaine Kennedy said in an interview any event that draws awareness to green initiatives needs to be maintained.
"If it just twigs people into thinking about that for an hour, maybe they will think about other things they can do," she said.
Kennedy said issues focusing on littering, recycling and the like also need to find a home in the everyday lexicon of society - even more than it is already.
"A lot of the enviromental issues don't resonate with people throughout the year," she said. "What I like about this is the press gives it some attention."
Locally the City of Cornwall is participating in Earth Hour.
All non-essential lighting and computer equipment in city buildings will be turned off by city employees as they leave work on Friday afternoon, and lighting in working city facilities, such as recreation and municipal work facilities, will be minimized as much as possible.
Floodlights lighting the Clock Tower in Lamoureux Park will be turned off during Earth Hour too.
Jeff Ridal, executive director of the St. Lawrence River Institute told Seaway News Earth Hour remains a pillar of the environmentalist movement.
"Anny of these initiatives is important," he said. "They might only make a small contribution, but it raises the profile."
Over 4,500 individuals, companies, municipalities and educational institutions in Canada have officially joined the Earth Hour movement by registering on the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) Canada website (www.wwf.ca/events/earthhour).