BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir, London joined iconic landmarks as well as communities and organisations from 187 countries by switching off its non-essential lights to observe Earth Hour at 8.30pm on Saturday 25 March 2017.
Earth Hour – the world’s largest environmental event – is a global movement involving millions of people “to shine a light on the need for climate action” and raise awareness about protecting the future of our planet.
More than 3,100 landmarks and monuments participated around the world, including the Eiffel Tower, the Empire State Building, the Sydney Opera House and the Acropolis, as well as notable buildings in London, including Big Ben, the Houses of Parliament, Buckingham Palace, Tower Bridge and Piccadilly Circus.
This year’s event marked the tenth anniversary of the Earth Hour movement, which started as a one-city event in Sydney in 2007. Today it has expanded to over 7,000 cities across seven continents.
Earth Hour is coordinated by the World Wide Fund For Nature (WWF), one of the world’s largest and most respected independent conservation organisations.
Sid Das, Executive Director for Earth Hour Global, explained, “Once again, the people have spoken through Earth Hour. Whether you are in the Philippines, Peru or Portugal, climate change matters and the record participation in this year’s Earth Hour is a powerful reminder that people, who are on the frontline of climate change, want to be a part of climate action.”
Taking ‘action beyond the hour’ is a commitment that BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha continues to make for the environment. Yogen Shah, a volunteer at the Mandir, shared, “It is more than a symbolic gesture for everyone at the Mandir. Caring for the environment is one of the ideals deeply rooted in our Hindu faith and something that our spiritual leader Pramukh Swami Maharaj and now Mahant Swami Maharaj continues to inspire, and which we endeavour to foster in our various activities here.”
Earth Hour was also observed at Swaminarayan Akshardham in New Delhi and BAPS Swaminarayan mandirs in North America.