BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir, London joined iconic landmarks as well as communities and organisations from more than 180 countries by switching off its non-essential lights to observe Earth Hour at 8.30pm on Saturday 24 March 2018.
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 the Houses of Parliament, Buckingham Palace, Tower Bridge, the Shard, and Piccadilly Circus.
Earth Hour began in Sydney, Australia, in 2007. It is coordinated by the World Wide Fund For Nature (WWF), one of the world’s largest and most respected independent conservation organisations.
“Climate change is moving much faster than we are,” warns UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, in a video for Earth Hour. “Its alarming impacts are upon us. Resources and ecosystems across the world are under assault. Earth Hour is an opportunity to show our resolve to change.” He added, “Protecting the environment is preserving life itself.”
Taking ‘action beyond the hour’ is a commitment that BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha continues to make as part of a wider initiative of supporting safer environmental practices. Shreya Desai, 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 Hindu faith and something that our spiritual leader 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.