City of Fort Collins Urges Community to Support Earth Hour, Saturday, March 29
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Millions of people around the globe will turn off non-essential lights, Saturday, March 29, 8:30-9:30 p.m., in recognition of Earth Hour, which is in line with City goals to reduce the community’s energy consumption and carbon footprint.
Earth Hour is a worldwide movement organized by WWF that symbolizes a call for global action on climate change. The program began in 2007 and has grown into a universal event that is celebrated across seven continents by more than 7,000 cities.
As an organization, the City has committed to an increased energy reduction plan beginning this year. City employees will be encouraged to turn off their lighting and computing devices at home during Earth Hour.
In April, the City will host a “No Impact Experiment” from April 20-27 during Earth Week. The No Impact Experiment is a one week “carbon cleanse” with daily tips about how residents can reduce their ecological impact, such as giving gifts that have minimal packaging such as tickets to the Fort Collins Museum of Discovery.
The City of Fort Collins’ organization has set aggressive goals to reduce the community’s energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions. As part of those efforts, the organization has been proactive in energy conservation in its operations through such measures as:
- Entering into a Solar Power Purchase Agreement for the Water Treatment Facility;
- Completing major lighting upgrades, which include more efficient lighting and controls; Setting LEED Gold Standards for new City buildings; and
- Providing educational opportunities for the community.
Last month, more than 360 community members attended a screening of “Chasing Ice” at Colorado State University followed by a panel discussion lead by City Councilman Bob Overbeck. The event kicked off a month-long challenge to reduce energy use. Nearly 60 participants, mainly City staff and Realtors at The Group pledged to adopt select behavior. If participants continue the behavior, they will save 325 tons of greenhouse gases and save $157,000 in 2014.
Residents can also contribute to the efforts of decreasing energy intake. Rebates are available for refrigerator or freezer recycling and ENERGY STAR® clothes washer or dishwasher purchases through Fort Collins Utilities’ appliance rebate program. The Home Efficiency Program can help residents identify opportunities to reduce costs as well as save energy and water. Also available are instant in-store rebates on efficient lighting purchases as well as rebates on instillations of solar photovoltaic systems. To learn more about the ways residents can reduce their ecological footprint, go to fcgov.com/enviro/energy.php or fcgov.com/conserve.
About Earth Hour
Impacts from Earth Hour are already recognizable, according to earthhour.org: In Uganda, half a million trees will be planted in a fight against the 6,000 hectares of deforestation in the world’s first Earth Hour Forest. In Russia, 120,000 citizens fought for a long-awaited law to protect the country’s seas from oil pollution. The level of protection of Argentina’s seas has risen from 1 percent to more than 4 percent due to Earth Hour efforts.