BU Today

Campus Life

Lights Out Saturday Evening

From the Citgo sign to the living room, going black for one hour


Boston will join 2,848 cities, towns, and municipalities in 84 countries on Saturday at 8:30 p.m. for Earth Hour 2009. Taking part is simple — just turn off your lights for an hour.

City icons such as BU’s neighborhood CITGO sign, the Zakim Bridge, the Prudential Center, and the Hancock Tower will go black to call attention to climate change. Other institutions temporarily disappearing include New York City’s Empire State Building, the Wembley Stadium Arch, in London, the Acropolis, in Athens, and the Sphinx and the Great Pyramids, in Egypt.

But each light in Warren Towers is important, too.

“Being part of a movement empowers the individual,” says Dennis Carlberg, Boston University’s first sustainability director. “It creates a broader statement and gets the attention of leaders around the world by showing how the individual actions of many add up to a much larger movement.”

Carlberg says that as the University becomes more focused on sustainability, events like Earth Hour are among the many movements that will emerge on campus.

“It’s a powerful statement for a university the size of BU to embrace Earth Hour,” he says.

The goal of the global conservation organization WWF (World Wildlife Fund), founder of Earth Hour, is to have one billion people worldwide vote for the Earth by turning off their lights. The votes will be presented to world leaders at the United Nations global Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen, COP15, in December 2009.

The first Earth Hour took place in Sydney, Australia, in 2007, where more than two million homes and businesses participated. By 2008, just one year later, 50 million around the globe were involved in Earth Hour.

Some people talk about voting with their feet — this is a way of voting against global warming with the flick of a switch. And after all, there are still plenty of creative things to do with an hour of darkness.

To sign up and take part, click here.

And for a sense of how Earth Hour has unfolded in years past, click on the video above.


2 Comments on Lights Out Saturday Evening

  • Anonymous on 03.27.2009 at 10:52 am

    Earth Hour

    Question: How can BU students in campus housing participate when candles are not permitted?

  • kcornuelle on 03.27.2009 at 12:14 pm

    turn out the lights!

    flashlights are totally permitted in dorm rooms.

Post Your Comment

(never shown)