Singapore goes dark and green for Earth Hour

A video of The Marina Bay skyline from 8.29pm to 8.31pm as Singapore marks Earth Hour. ST VIDEO: LIM YAO HUI
Gardens by the Bay, in the Marina Bay area, at 8.55pm during Earth Hour last night. The Marina Bay area was one of 24 iconic locations around the world that switched off their lights to mark Earth Hour. Other places included the Houses of Parliament
Gardens by the Bay, in the Marina Bay area, at 8.55pm during Earth Hour last night. The Marina Bay area was one of 24 iconic locations around the world that switched off their lights to mark Earth Hour. Other places included the Houses of Parliament in London and the Pyramids of Egypt.ST PHOTO: LIM YAOHUI

Various events, including lights out, runs and craft work, to spread environmental message

Over the past 10 years, Singapore has been a key participant of Earth Hour - a global initiative to get countries to switch off their lights for an hour.

Over this same decade, Singapore's electricity consumption has generally stayed constant.

Among the events to drum up public awareness of the need to conserve energy is Earth Hour, the world's largest grassroots movement for the environment.

Last night, at 8.30pm, iconic landmarks in downtown Singapore, such as the ArtScience Museum, Esplanade, Gardens by the Bay and Singapore Flyer, went dark as non-essential lights were dimmed.

The Marina Bay area was one of 24 iconic locations around the world that switched off their lights to mark Earth Hour, including the Houses of Parliament in London, the Kremlin in Moscow, the Pyramids of Egypt and the Burj Khalifa in Dubai.

URBAN SUSTAINABILITY

Earth Hour shows how everyone can play a part in shining a light on environmental action, and this year, we aim to redefine what sustainability means for people in an urban city like Singapore.

WWF-SINGAPORE COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR KIM STENGERT, on how people in urban areas can practise sustainability.

At the F1 Pit in Marina Bay, 35,000 people - the largest turnout in the annual event's history in Singapore - watched a light show and music performances, as well as took part in a night run, in what organiser World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) said was a show of mass support for environmental action.

At the 5KM Earth Hour Run, reusable bottles were distributed instead of the usual disposable cups, and participants were also offered water in jelly form to reduce waste.

Winners were given biodegradable medals that would sprout basil shoots if planted.

The run was held together with the annual Osim Sundown Marathon.

Both runs' carbon emissions generated by waste, transport and other energy use were offset by WWF through financial contributions to other projects that help reduce emissions.

"Earth Hour shows how everyone can play a part in shining a light on environmental action, and this year, we aim to redefine what sustainability means for people in an urban city like Singapore," said WWF-Singapore's communications director Kim Stengert.

Across Singapore, people at venues ranging from shopping malls to schools to community centres took part in Earth Hour activities.

At the Star Vista shopping mall, shoppers pedalled hard on stationary bikes to generate electricity to illuminate Disney Tsum Tsum displays during lights-out.

The heartland was buzzing with green activities too.

At "Just One Earth" organised by the North East Community Development Council at Serangoon Community Club, pre-schoolers and their families created new things from old, such as aprons from old shirts and garbage enzymes from fruit peels.

Mr Amith Malani, 34, was there with his four-year-old daughter Aanya. The accounts manager said: "I am so glad I came because as parents, we are always busy working... We benefited a lot from today's programme. I can now tell my daughters that things can be recycled and we should not cultivate the habit of buy and throw."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on March 26, 2017, with the headline 'S'pore goes dark and green for Earth Hour'. Print Edition | Subscribe