Well, this year’s Earth Hour proved just that – when students, professionals, families and celebrities met at the Civic Plaza of Ngee Ann City on 31st March to participate in the “60+ Singapore” human formation, and encourage homes and establishments to turn off their lights for more than an hour.
“The whole world is organising it on the same day. My friends and I like to come and know what the event is about; it shows how important it is to save the earth,” explained Muhd Aliff Abdullah, 22, a volunteer for the Singapore Scout Association.
“Earth Hour reaches out to people and continues to grab attention on environmental issues. Hopefully it will proceed with a big bang and will be even better than last year,” added Goh Ter Yang of Nature Society Singapore.
Earth Hour Singapore ambassador Nadya Hutagalung is particularly excited about the “I Will If You Will” challenge. The model, host, jewellery designer and eco-activist cycled to the event when six of her husband’s friends agreed to turn vegetarian for a month. She will also dive with sharks if 10,000 people pledge to give up plastic bags and straws for the year. “We had a fantastic response, and it was really interesting. It inspired us. Earth Hour has been growing year to year, and it’s become empowering.” Also in attendance were Mediacorp artistes Dong Soo Hua, Pan Ling Ling and Huang Shinan.
“There’s much to be done to fight climate change and save the earth. Through the ‘I Will If You Will’ theme, anyone can pose a challenge to others to commit to an environmentally friendly action in return for a promise to do something themselves, and to share this through social media beyond just Earth Hour,” states V Prema, Director of Communications at WWF Singapore. Individuals (one is seven years old) and companies like Philips, Carrefour, The Body Shop have since posed “I Will If You Will” pledges and challenges.
The participants in the formation turned off their LED candles at 8:30 pm – the same time participating homes and businesses in Singapore turned off their own lights. About 5,000 cities and 147 countries are expected to take part in Earth Hour this year.
In between, there were performances from Jack and Rai, Dawn Ho and Tay Kewei, Arts Fission and Peace Connect Elderly. There were also booths for face painting and the making of “windmills” from recycled plastic bottles, which had LED lights inside.
Minister for the Environment and Water Resources, Dr Vivian Balakrishnan, was the guest of honour and led the lights-out ceremony. “This shows the power of an idea. Collectively, we can make a big difference,” he said.
By Lavinia Mo HONG KONG (Reuters) - The new H7N9 bird flu virus can be transmitted between mammals not only via direct contact but also in airborne droplets, and may be capable of spreading from person to person, Chinese and American researchers have found. A study published in the journal Science and presented at a briefing in Hong Kong on Friday found that three ferrets - an animal often used for research on flu - that were in the same cage as ferrets infected with H7N9 had contracted the disease. ...