Sunday, March 13, 2011

TV Personality and Earth Hour Ambassador Nadya Hutagalung shares her tips for going beyond the hour

I am just one person, what can I do to make a meaningful difference? These are the words I hear all too often. In fact, it’s really easy yet important to make positive change as an individual. I am going to share one easy thing you can do:
Change your diet.

It is good for the planet if you choose to eat a plant based diet.Eating less meat also has great health benefits and consequently lowers your ecological footprint.

Look for local, seasonal organic produce that is becoming readily available. Believe it or not, we have farms even in a Mega City like Singapore to buy produce from!
It's no longer expensive to choose to live a more conscious lifestyle as there are more and more local farmers markets springing up. This is an important trend that we need to support.You can also start a little veggie patch of your own. If a garden is not available, use your windowsill or balcony to grow some herbs; in Asia you could grow lime and chili too.

If for health reasons you can't become fully vegetarian, flirt with being a veggo a few times a week, or every other day.

So there you have it, one of the easiest, more affordable ways of going beyond the hour. For more info on how to go beyond the hour you can log on to

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Global icons join in monumental action for the planet

Diverse iconic landmarks join hundreds of millions of people across the planet to switch off for Earth Hour 2011 including: Gateway of India, the Christ the Redeemer statue in Brazil, Taiwan’s 101 Financial Building, and UNESCO World Heritage sites Denmark’s Kronborg Castle and the Alhambra in Spain, Pakistan’s National Mausoleum, Berlin’s Brandenberg Gate, Tokyo Tower and the Obelisk in Argentina, all standing in darkness for one hour, representative of the world’s largest voluntary action for the planet.

At 8.30pm local time on Saturday 26 March, 2011, these landmarks will join with people from community, business and government, all over the world to turn off their lights for Earth Hour, transcending barriers of race, religion, culture, society, generation and geography in a global celebration of their commitment to protect the one thing that unites us all – the planet.

From Boudhanath Stupa in Nepal, to Sheik Zayed Grand Mosque, the largest mosque in the United Arab Emirates, Santa Maria del Mar Basilica in Spain, Ngoc Son Temple in Vietnam, Budapest Great Synagogue and the Helsinki Cathedral in Finland. From natural wonders Table Mountain in South Africa and Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe, to China World Trade Centre Tower 3 (the tallest building in Beijing).

From the Taj Hotels in Mumbai and Delhi, London’s The Savoy and Royal Albert Hall, to the Presidential Palace in Peru, Thailand’s Royal Palace, the Presidential Palace in Honduras and the Royal Castle in Sweden, to the largest single housing estate in Nigeria, the Gwarimpa Housing Estate.

“These landmarks act as powerful symbols of what we can achieve when we unite for a common purpose; a visually spectacular reminder of what can be done when individuals, organisations and governments act together,” said Andy Ridley, Co-Founder and Executive Director of Earth Hour.

“These icons are representative of the diverse communities across the planet that come together for Earth Hour. By the simple act of switching off the lights, they become part of a celebration of what has been done, and a renewed commitment to take action for the planet beyond the hour.”
Australian cultural icon the Sydney Opera House will switch off for its fifth Earth Hour alongside the Norwegian Opera House in Oslo, Norway, the Hanoi Opera House in Vietnam, the Ankara Opera House in Turkey, and the Hong Kong’s Cultural Centre, which will go dark as Hong Kong’s Symphony of Lights - the world's largest permanent light and sound show - is suspended for a night.

The Bosphorus Bridge in Istanbul, Turkey that connects Asia and Europe will join with the 25 April Bridge in Portugal, Puente de la Mujer in Argentina, Liberty Bridge in Budapest, Hungary, and the UNESCO listed, reconstructed Old Bridge in Bosnia, in going dark.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

A message from our Global Ambassador Miranda Kerr

I am pleased to have been asked to be the global ambassador for Earth Hour 2011.

Each of us has a responsibility for the sustainability of our planet and each of us can make a difference if we choose to do so.

On 26 March at 8:30pm Earth Hour 2011 will take place - globally. This is an opportunity for every individual, every business and every community to switch their lights off for one hour in a collective display of commitment to protect the one thing that unites us all - the planet. 

I will personally be participating in the Earth Hour event on 26 March 2011 along with billions of other people globally and I will continue to adopt sustainability practices thereafter in my everyday life....

Some of the things that I recommend we can do in our homes:

  • Buy local produce from markets thereby reducing food miles
  • Walking or riding the bike wherever possible as opposed to driving
  • Ensure the car tyres are always inflated to the correct level as they use less fuel
  • Use fuel with Ethanol
  • Turn off the lights and use organic or beeswax candles a lot of the time
  • Unplug appliances when they are not in use
  • Use heating and cooling when absolutely necessary
  • Wash in mostly cold water
  • Use chemical-free dish washing, washing powder and cleaning products
  • Recycle, recycle, recycle
  • Buy products with the highest recyclability
  • Purchase clothes that are ethically made, not mass produced
  • Dress in Organic clothing
  • Install water-saving nozzles on all taps including showers
  • Compost scraps whenever possible
  • Prepare food plans so as to avoid food wastage
  • Grow herbs and spices
  • Have timed showers to use less water
  • Water the plants of an evening
  • Bury food scraps in the garden bed to feed the earth worms or compost
  • Collecting grey water from bath and use it to water plants
  • Using Certified Organic personal care products (avoid using chemicals)
  • Wash the car on the grass with environmentally friendly car wash
  • Buy Certified Organic or Farmers markets produce. I understand that certified organics can be expensive, but local farmers markets for the most part are usually reasonable. On my blog ( I include a list of Farmers Markets from around the world so that people will have ready access to the same.

Together we can make a difference! For further details on how you can participate in Earth Hour plus take Earth Hour - "Beyond the Hour" refer to I look forward to hearing from you. Love Miranda xxx

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Earth Hour evolves beyond the hour, beyond the light switch

High profile and individual actions across the globe unveiled at global launch of 'Beyond the Hour'.

Earth Hour Co-Founder and Executive Director, Andy Ridley, today announced a series of high profile and individual environmental actions, and a new dynamic online platform, to mark the global launch for Earth Hour, Beyond the Hour.

Beyond the Hour marks the start of a new phase for the Earth Hour movement. In 2010 hundreds of millions of people across the world took part in Earth Hour, but switching off the lights was only the beginning. This year Earth Hour asks people to commit to an action, big or small, that they will sustain for the future of our planet.

Jim Leape, Director General of WWF, who addressed media at the launch said: “The challenges that face our planet are immense, but never underestimate the possibility for change when we face these challenges with true common purpose. Hundreds of millions of people around the globe have given us a glimpse of what is possible. It is now time to go beyond the hour and show what can be done - by the people for the planet."

An online platform that captures and allows individuals, governments and organisations across the globe to share their actions, will act as the tool to showcase and inspire commitments to protect the one thing we all have in common – the planet.

“The Beyond the Hour platform has been built with social media at its core,” Ridley said. “Social media will play a crucial role for Earth Hour 2011, allowing us to connect with millions of people who are committed to taking lasting action for the planet.”

The platform, created with Leo Burnett, is translated into 11 languages, and integrated with most major social networks including: Facebook, Twitter, Mixi, Myspace, Odnoklassniki, Cloob, Orkut, Qzone, RenRen, Vkontakte, Maktoob, Skyrock, Xing, and Zing. Over 1,000 actions have already been shared on the dynamic online platform.

“Everyone has the power to make change: a CEO can change an organisation, a 7-year-old can change a classroom, and a president can change a country. What we are announcing today is just the beginning,” Ridley said. “It is through the collective action of individuals and organisations that we will be able to truly make a difference, which is why we are urging people across the planet to share how they will go beyond the hour this Earth Hour.”

Actions announced at today’s global launch included the following high-profile and individual commitments:

The Government of Nepal has made a commitment to put a complete stop to tree-felling in the Churiya Range, a vital ecological and sociological forest area spanning around 6,500 sq km.

Pocoyo, an animated TV series, will reach out to its millions of preschool-aged fans across the globe over the next year, fostering “Learning through Laughter,” utilising humour and learning to inform children about environmental issues.

Nathi Mzileni, a 15-year-old boy from Swaziland, was inspired to take action in 2010 when he realised his town did not participate in Earth Hour. He started a group at his High School called Green Enviro to educate people about climate change, and this year will single-handedly make Earth Hour a reality in his town of Shimunye, Swaziland.

Mengniu Dairy (Inner Mongolia Mengniu Dairy (Group) Co., Ltd.): the Chinese dairy company is doubling the number of milk cartons it recycles and increasing its use of FSC-certified packaging.

Li Bingbing, the Chinese acting/singing sensation, has committed to being vegetarian for 100 days this year, in order to reduce the carbon dioxide emissions caused in the cycle of meat production and consumption.

Lord Mayor of Sydney, Clover Moore MP, has committed to: another six separated cycleways, installing LED lights in parks and streets, and endorsing a tri-generation plant to provide low carbon energy.

Chloe Nicol, a 7-year-old girl from Australia, is guiding her school to increase recycling and reduce energy waste. The school now also shuts their blinds instead of using air-conditioning to cool the rooms.

Parrys Raines, a 15-year-old Australian girl, has convinced her school to install water filling stations and provide each student and teacher with a reusable stainless steel drinking bottle to reduce plastic bottle waste.

CB Richard Ellis is going beyond the hour in 2011 by aiming to exceed their previous year’s record of more than 254 million square feet of real estate participating in Earth Hour, as well as making available events and activities for employee participation each month (Earth Hour, Earth Day, Green Building Day, Climate Week etc.)

Credit Suisse AG became carbon neutral in 2010 through its global 'Credit Suisse Cares for Climate' initiative. This year, as well as sponsoring Earth Hour Singapore, Credit Suisse will continue to go 'Beyond the Hour' by sending staff to a Brazilian forest reserve to support field research into the effects of climate change.

Power98FM will ensure all lights, computers and equipment will be switched off in studios when not in use, and continue to actively support WWF initiatives.

Singaporean pop duo Jack and Rai: Jack has switched to a more efficient air-conditioning system, and committed to setting the temperature at 24 degrees Celsius. Rai will watch less TV, play less video games, and play more acoustic guitar to reduce his energy usage.

Holiday Inn Atrium Singapore has committed to replacing the light bulbs in all of its 504 guest rooms to energy-efficient LED bulbs.

Wasim Akram (Pakistan cricket legend) has made a personal commitment to stop using plastic bags, to recycle and reuse, and to use his high profile to promote and encourage the same behaviour throughout Pakistan and the rest of the world.