BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir, London joined millions of supporters in 7,000 cities, towns and municipalities across more than 150 countries and territories around the world to observe Earth Hour 2013 on Saturday 23 March.
Iconic 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 Gateway of India in Mumbai, the Burj Khalifa in Dubai, Table Mountain in Cape Town, and Times Square in New York.
In the UK, notable sights including Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament, Westminster Abbey, Trafalgar Square, Wembley Stadium, the London Eye, Edinburgh Castle, Brighton Pier, Durham Cathedral, Old Trafford, Canterbury Cathedral, and Windsor Castle.
The ‘Neasden Temple’ also joined other places of worship in London and elsewhere in the world to support the WWF’s aim to mobilise one billion people globally and “build momentum and motivation for the next person”. By switching off lights, the hope is to raise awareness about climate change and make a “collective impact, beyond the hour.”
The initiative forms a part of BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha’s continuing commitment in the UK to raise awareness about and make a positive impact upon the environment, having recently organised an event to support Climate Week during the International Women’s Day Celebrations held at the Mandir. Volunteers from the Mandir teamed up with Thames21 in October 2012 to clean the nearby Brent Feeder Canal. In addition, the Mandir was presented with an ‘Outstanding Achievement Award’ in 2012 as part of the ‘Brent in Bloom’ garden competition. World Environment Day was celebrated here in 2012 and the Mandir launched a Green Travel Plan in 2009.
Earth Hour was also observed at BAPS mandirs in North America, as well as 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 and more than 6,950 cities in 2012.
- 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.