Earth Hour and Earth Hour Bolivia aren't about seeing how much electricity we can save over the course of an hour in the world. It's about creating awareness of the need to be better stewards of the natural resources we have available to us - each and every day. Each year the Earth's population multiplies and our use of our resources is increasing at rates that will soon become unsustainable. We support Earth Hour Bolivia because we are deeply concerned about the world we will leave our children. By making simple changes in our daily lives, each of us can make a difference.
Earth Hour began as a symbolic gesture in Sydney, Australia and this year, will be celebrated in over 5200 cities around the world. Santa Cruz de la Sierra became the first city in Latin America to join the Earth Hour movement and was soon followed by Tarija, and then numerous other Bolivian cities. That's more than a gesture. It's people, realizing that we can and must make a difference now.
Earth Hour 2012 will take place globally on March 31, 2012 from 8:30 to 9:30 p.m. Find out where you can participate in events in your city or simply turn off your lights and electricity at home. Either way, please join us, not just on March 31st, but every day.
Earth Hour Bolivia 2011
This year we celebrated Earth Hour Bolivia back in Santa Cruz, where we live. Earth Hour took place at the central plaza (see photos in the video above). We spent our 60 minutes handing out flyers with 10 tips for saving electricity, water, and our air quality. We had the opportunity to speak to many people one on one because the city's central plaza is the busiest meeting place in town day and night. It is also home to the Cathedral, the city's most iconic structure, which went dark for an hour.
Earth Hour Bolivia 2010
Earth Hour Bolivia continues to grow and add cities. In conjunction with Green Hearts Project, Tarija joined the initiative in 2010, as did the Pantanal and Chiquitania regions.
We traveled to Tarija to participate in Tarija's first Earth Hour. We loved Tarija so much we ended up staying 10 days!! Tarija is easily one of the cleanest cities in Bolivia. The number of people who turned out in support of Earth Hour was amazing. A couple of days later, the city's municipal government made celebrating Earth Hour EVERY YEAR a municipal law!
Earth Hour Bolivia 2009
In 2009 WWF continued to work on expanding Earth Hour to include more cities in Bolivia. Trinidad, the capital of Beni joined the Earth Hour initiative. The WWF in Santa Cruz is leading the effort in Bolivia. Click here to read more about
Earth Hour 2009 in Bolivia.
Read below to see how Earth Hour started in Bolivia:
Earth Hour Bolivia 2008
Earth Hour Bolivia. In 2008 Santa Cruz, Bolivia became the FIRST CITY IN LATIN AMERICA to join the Earth Hour initiative, according to the World Wildlife Federation (WWF) which organizes Earth Hour globally.
This day was first proposed and inaugurated in 2007 by the World Wildlife Federation in Sidney, Australia. Here in Santa Cruz, Bolivia for one hour homes and businesses voluntarily turned off their lights between 8:00 and 9:00 p.m. on March 29, 2008 as a worldwide gesture to show how much energy can be saved and how we call all participate in reducing the effects of global warming.
In 2007 over 2,100 businesses and many homes in Sidney (over 2.2 million citizens in all) voluntarily shut off their lights and electronic equipment. In just one hour, the city saved 10% of its normal energy consumption, much more than anticipated, and an amount equivalent to taking 48,000 cars off the streets. This year, the WWF anticipated over 30 million (and hoped over 100 million) people around the globe would participate in this event to create awareness about excessive energy consumption, its contribution to global warming, and its negative effects on the environment!
The municipal government, CRE (local electric company) and WWF in Santa Cruz,
called on all inhabitants to actively participate in Earth Hour Bolivia. Santa Cruz, located in the Eastern tropics of Bolivia, used this occasion to reaffirm its leadership as an advocate for rainforest conservation and forest management throughout South America.
is proud of the fact that it frequently participates in campaigns to raise awareness concerning energy consumption and the environment.
I was happy to see the lights of the San Lorenzo Cathedral and our central plaza (Plaza 24 de Septiembre) fade to black at exactly 8 p.m. (which is an amazing event in itself because Bolivians are always late for everything!) The central plaza and cathedral are usually ablaze with enough floodlights to power a small town for a week, as you'll see if you visit my Santa Cruz central
At our home we had a great candlelight dinner as we looked out over the city to see who would turn off their lights. To ensure the safety of our citizens, street lights, traffic lights, and lights in hospitals, fire stations and police stations remained on during this time. After a long explanation of what Earth Hour is and why we were taking part in it, my four-year old was kind of mad to see any lights on at all. But of course, since Bolivians NEVER miss an occasion to party somebody actually lit fireworks far across the city, and he was quite happy the sky wasn't pitch black after all.
However, let's not forget that we aren't really doing this for our own enjoyment, but to help make people all over the globe aware of the massive amounts of energy we use and waste and how this is negatively affecting our planet and our future. One hour a year is insignificant in terms of how much energy we will actually save, but incredibly significant in terms of creating awareness about the issue.
Good job, Santa Cruz, Bolivia for doing your small, but very significant, leading part!!! But now let's make Earth Hour Bolivia a really truly national event!!!