Stargazing at the mall highlights Earth Hour

Earth-Hour-2MANILA, Philippines – It was a night of stargazing in 58 SM Supermalls all over the country last night as these establishments participated in Earth Hour, an annual worldwide movement encouraging communities and establishments to switch off lights for one hour to raise global awareness of overuse of non-renewable resources.

During the switch-off from 8:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m., participants were able to gaze at the stars, planets and constellations through telescopes placed in strategic areas in the malls.

The Philippines has been an active participant of Earth Hour since 2008. It has earned the status of “Earth Hero Country” as it has consistently registered the most number of participating towns in the movement.

Last night, in the province of Bulacan, for instance, all parishes, diocesan institutions, schools and household communities in the Diocese of Malolos joined Earth Hour.

Fr. Leopoldo Evangelista III, director of the Diocesan Ecological and Environmental Program of the Commission on Social Action of the Diocese of Malolos, said their participation in Earth Hour is part of diocese’s program for the Year of the Poor so that servants of the church may “become active in educating the people in protecting and nurturing our environment.”

Earth Hour is a worldwide grassroots movement of the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) to unite people to take action for the planet.

WWF said proceeds from Earth Hour Philippines shall go to the organization’s Gift of Light project, which funds the deployment of hundreds of portable solar lamps for off-grid communities in Beton, Northern Palawan.

“Solar lamps rely on the power of the sun, eliminating the need to buy fuel. We’re teaching communities to veer away from fossil fuels, the burning of which contributes to climate change,” said Angela Consuelo Ibay, Earth Hour Philippines national director.

Earth Hour has grown into a worldwide movement since it started in Australia in 2007.

Recognized as the world’s largest voluntary action for the environment, Earth Hour has reached 154 countries as of 2013, including 7,000 towns and cities all over the world. With Ramon Lazaro

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