Wellington Going Dark for Earth Hour

24 March 2009

With four days to go to the big day, there's plenty going on in Wellington for Earth Hour.

Wellington City Council and the British High Commission are encouraging people and businesses to switch off lights and appliances for one hour - Earth Hour - at 8.30pm on Saturday to show their support for action on climate change.

Mayor Kerry Prendergast says more than 50 Wellington businesses are taking part in Earth Hour. "Going on the town for Earth Hour is a great way to make your statement on climate change and have fun too. Many bars and restaurants are lighting up the candles for Earth Hour so get out there and support them and play your part in what could be the biggest mass-participation event ever."

British High Commissioner George Fergusson says Earth Hour is desperately needed to meet - in one small way - the ticking clock of climate change. "This month has seen even more dire predictions around ice sheet melt and sea level rise," says Mr Fergusson.

Café Italiano diners can enjoy listening to three members of the Vector Wellington Orchestra play over dinner and Blend Bar will have live acoustic music. Arbitrageur Wine Room & Restaurant, Coyote, Fidel's Café, Holy Cow, Jet Bar, Kitty O'Shea's Irish Bar, Logan Brown, Mac's Brewery Bar, Sandwiches, Shooters, Southern Cross, Sweet Mother's Kitchen, The Hummingbird, Trade Kitchen and the Welsh Dragon Bar are also lighting up the candles.

Hotels are getting stuck in too - Nomads Capital is committed and the YHA is offering $5 off rooms all weekend to guests who buy a tree through their Green Footprint Project. Hotel InterContinental Wellington will hand out beeswax candles to all their guests and light candles in their bar and restaurant.

Retailers will also switch off their lights. Civic Video in Courtenay Place will turn off its stereo, televisions and non-essential lights, there will be candles at the front desk and staff will find their way round with glow sticks. Karen Walker, Starfish, the Health Shop and Trade Aid are turning off too.

Zealandia: the Karori Sanctuary Experience is offering Earth Hour night walks for children and adults. Opus, Givealittle, EECA and Kiwibank are all switching off. Downstage Theatre, the Embassy, Il-Bordello and the Splash Club are all doing their bit and the Body Shop, McDonald's, Toyota dealerships, Burger Wisconsin and Starbucks will be switching off across the country.

The City Council will switch off all non-essential lighting and appliances in its buildings for Earth Hour but traffic lights, street lights and other essentials will stay on. Pools will close an hour early at 8.00pm so staff can turn the lights out at 8.30pm.

Sign up on the Earth Hour website and be in the draw to win a Toyota Prius. Call Zach Rissel at the Council on (04) 499 4444 and let him know what you're planning to do for Earth Hour - Zach's compiling a list of what's going in the city for Earth Hour and he'd like to hear from you.