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BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir, London joined hundreds of millions of supporters in thousands of cities, towns and communities in a record 150 countries in observing Earth Hour 2012 on Saturday 31 March.

Buildings small and large across the continents switched off their non-essential lights for one hour at precisely 8.30pm local time. Some of these included the Eiffel Tower in Paris, the Empire State Building in New York City, the Burj Khalifa in Dubai, the Leaning Tower of Pisa, The Sydney Harbour Bridge and Opera House, the Great Wall of China, the Bird’s Nest (Olympic Stadium) in Beijing, the Tokyo Tower, Taipei 101, India Gate and, for the first time, the International Space Station.

In the UK, notable sights including Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament, Buckingham Palace, London Eye (dimmed only), the Royal Albert Hall, the National Gallery, Old Trafford, Clifton Suspension Bridge, Edinburgh Castle, the Millennium Centre, Piccadilly Circus, and local neighbours Wembley Stadium and the Tesco Hoover Building.

The ‘Neasden Temple’ also joined other places of worship in London and throughout the world to support the WWF’s aim to mobilise one billion people across the world to switch off their lights to raise awareness about climate change and “join together in celebration and contemplation of the one thing we all have in common – our planet.”

The initiative forms a part of BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha, UK’s continuing commitment to raising awareness about and making a positive impact upon the environment, having won first prize in the Brent in Bloom competition for the second successive year in 2010, celebrated World Environment Day 2009 with the launch of an environmental awareness drive and the Green Travel Plan, and also using Go Veg… Go Green… as the theme of its Diwali and Hindu New Year celebrations in 2008.

Earth Hour was also observed at BAPS mandirs in North America, as well at Swaminarayan Akshardham in New Delhi.

About Earth Hour

  • Earth Hour started in 2007 in Sydney, Australia when 2.2 million homes and businesses turned their lights off for one hour to make their stand against climate change.
  • In 2008, the message had grown into a global sustainability movement, with 50 million people switching off their lights.
  • In March 2009, hundreds of millions of people took part in the third Earth Hour where over 4,000 cities in 88 countries officially switched off to pledge their support for the planet.
  • In 2010, the global call to action had reached over 125 countries, making Earth Hour 2010 the world’s largest global climate change initiative. This increased further to 135 countries in 2011.
  • Earth Hour is organised by the World Wide Fund For Nature (WWF), one of the world’s largest and most respected independent conservation organisations. Its mission is to stop the degradation of the Earth’s natural environment and build a future where people live in harmony with nature.

To learn more about Earth Hour and the WWF, please follow the respective links.

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