Those in B.C. who participated in Earth Hour switched off the equivalent of about 60,000 incandescent light bulbs on Saturday.
Dale Bonke, with Okanagan Network for the Environment, said the turnout to Earth Hour events at the Shatford Centre was impressive. They had approximately 150 people, a considerable jump from the 10 that came out to the rally the year before.
“I thought it went really well and we are quite happy with the turnout. We noticed that Penticton High School turned out their lights in the parking lot and there was a much better participation throughout the city than last year,” said Bonke.
There was an 80 per cent increase in the number of pledges received from people across the FortisBC service area, who each committed to turn their lights off for one hour for the Earth Hour Community Challenge.
The FortisBC-sponsored challenge to encourage customers to pledge to turn off all non-essential lighting, appliances and electronics, was won by Keremeos. The community had the highest per capita participation rate, seven per cent, and receives a $5,000 energy savings facility upgrade to the Royal Canadian Legion, Branch 192.
According to Fortis, 3.5 per cent of residents in Penticton took the Earth Hour pledge. Just under three per cent of Summerland residents, under one per cent of residents in Oliver and one per cent of residents in Osoyoos took part. The SS Sicamous Restoration Society and the Harold Simpson Memorial Youth Centre in Summerland earned a secondary prize of an energy saving package valued at $100.
Bonke said they are now gearing up for Earth Day on April 22, where they hope citizens and businesses will mark the day by getting involved in a city-wide cleanup. Already the city and RDOS have agreed to supply ONE with bags and free landfill costs. Bonke said anyone looking to participate can contact them at 778-476-5944.