Pedal power to ‘light up PH’ at Earth Hour event
Pedal power will light up a map of the Philippines during the country’s main Earth Hour switch-off event at Quezon Memorial Circle on Saturday night.
Ten stationary bamboo bikes attached to energy generators will be used by volunteers to produce electricity for the LED (light-emitting diode) map, Earth Hour Philippines director Angela Consuelo Ibay said.
“The idea is we switch off from the grid, then we switch on through renewable energy,” Ibay said. “Lights off doesn’t mean you suffer from no power at all, there are alternative sources that can be used.”
Thousands are expected to join the event in Quezon City organized by World Wild Fund for Nature (WWF) Philippines, which is touted as a showcase of climate change solutions. “All participants will get a chance to pedal for the planet and show the world that human power can light up the Philippines and the world,” Ibay said.
Earth Hour will be observed across 24 time zones in 178 countries. The annual campaign that started in 2007 uses the simple action of switching off lights for 60 minutes to highlight the need for decisive climate change solutions.
For the first time, the electricity requirements for the Philippine event will be partially powered by renewable energy, such as solar, wind and biogas, Ibay said.
“Our aim is to showcase low-carbon alternatives which all Pinoys can embrace,” Ibay said. “These range from alternative modes of transport to energy-efficient technologies like portable and household solar kits.”
“Filipinos have a flair for making these events very entertaining. We have been declared ‘Hero Country’ for five years already. Practically all our cities and towns participate. We have a lot of support from various government agencies,” Ibay said.
The Philippines was declared “Earth Hour Hero Country” from 2009 to 2013 for topping global participation levels. Last year, there were 1,600 switch-off sites in the country out of the world’s 7,000 Earth Hour hubs.
Participants at Quezon Memorial Circle may enjoy free rides on electric vehicles and visit the booths of renewable energy developers, Ibay said.
There will be acoustic performances from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. And the event will be hosted by WWF-Philippines ambassadors Marc Nelson, Rovilson Fernandez and Mikee Cojuangco-Jaworski.
The switch-off will be observed from 8:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.
“We are elated at the massive outpouring of support. Government agencies, media allies, corporations, schools, civil society groups and individuals have all pledged to shine a light on climate action through Earth Hour,” WWF-Philippines CEO Joel Palma said.
“We encourage participants to upload their Earth Hour videos and photos on social media using the hashtag #EarthHourPhilippines. The most meaningful and unique celebrations shall be featured on our social media platforms,” Palma said.
Ibay said that even more important than observing the switch-off is the commitment to go beyond the hour when the lights are switched back on.
“Earth Hour is symbolic. We’re not going to stop climate change just by switching-off our lights for 60 minutes. But if we collectively reduce our energy use by shifting to renewable energy and energy-efficient technologies, we will definitely change climate change and secure the low-carbon future we need,” Ibay said.
For a low-carbon lifestyle, WWF recommends simple tips such us unplugging appliances when not in use, walking when going to nearby places and reducing meat consumption. CDG
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.