Residents invited to turn off lights

Red Deerians are invited to shut off their lights between 8:30 and 9:30 p.m. on Saturday as part of a worldwide environmental effort.

Red Deerians are invited to shut off their lights between 8:30 and 9:30 p.m. on Saturday as part of a worldwide environmental effort.

Mayor Morris Flewwelling is challenging the City of Grande Prairie to join Red Deerians and the millions around the world to participate in Earth Hour.

The city will once again participate by shutting down non-essential lights at city-owned facilities.

“Hopefully Earth Hour 2012 will give us a chance to reflect on our energy consumption, make some small changes together as a community and beat Grande Prairie in the process,” said Bailey Doepker, environmental program specialist for the city.

This is the fourth year that Red Deer has participated in Earth Hour.

This year’s theme is Uniting People to Protect the Planet.

“It’s inspiring to see the continued efforts of Red Deer residents and businesses, who year after year participate in the Earth Hour movement,” said Doepker.

“We continue to promote Earth Hour with the goal of increasing public awareness about reducing energy use — not just for one hour, but hopefully every day.” Earth Hour, organized by the World Wildlife Fund, started in 2007 in Sydney, Australia, where 2.2 million electricity consumers switched off their lights for one hour to raise awareness about climate change.

In 2008, the message grew into a global movement, with 50 million people switching off their lights.

In 2011, Earth Hour experienced its most successful year with a record 135 countries and 5,200 cities across the world participating.

For more information on Earth Hour, climate change or other City of Red Deer environmental initiatives, go online at www.reddeer.ca/environment.