BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandirs across North America commemorated Earth Hour by switching off lights within the complex at 8:30 pm on Saturday, March 26, 2011 to join millions of supporters across the world in observing Earth Hour 2011.
Many diverse iconic landmarks as the Empire State Building, the Eiffel Tower, Bird’s Nest (Olympic Stadium) in Beijing, the Great Pyramids of Giza, the Sydney Opera House, and Brazil’s Christ the Redeemer statue switched off their non-essential lights for one hour at precisely 8.30pm local time.
“We performed the evening rituals inside the Mandir by candlelight,” said BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir , Atlanta volunteer Sandip Trivedi. “As a global citizen, I felt good participating in an event that marks our commitment to sustaining the environment.”
His wife, Niketa Trivedi, could be heard nearby, explaining to a group of curious young children why she was placing candles across the Mandir’s inner sanctum. “It’s to celebrate Earth Hour,” she explained to them. “When we turn off the lights, we save energy. This is good for our planet, and we have to help in any way we can.”
Demonstrating a year-round commitment to the principles of environmental sustainability symbolized by Earth Hour, BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha is continuously finding new ways to creatively harness cutting edge environmental designs and materials in its Mandirs and activities. Currently, many facilities utilize power saving fiber optics, LED lighting and management practices to ensure energy consumption is both optimal and efficient.
Earth Hour is organized by the World Wide Fund For Nature and was started in Sydney, Australia as a single city event in 2007. Over the past 3 years it has grown to become one of the world’s biggest voluntary actions for the environment. BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha has pledged to join hundreds of millions of individuals, businesses and governments around 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 save our shared planet.
Earth Hour was also observed at BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir, London as well at Swaminarayan Akshardham in New Delhi.