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Earth Hour set for 8 to 9 p.m. Saturday

    Between 8 and 9 p.m. Saturday, the City of Statesboro will participate in Earth Hour, along with 23 cities and about 7,600 businesses worldwide.
    The hour promotes the idea of easing the pressure on Earth’s resources.
    For one hour, the city will turn off all non-essential lights and equipment and encourages all citizens, businesses, government agencies and other organizations to do the same.
    Earth Hour, run by the conservation organization World Wildlife Foundation, is a global climate change initiative that calls on individuals and businesses around the world to turn off their lights for one hour.
    The aim of the campaign is to express that individual action, on a mass scale, can help change the planet for the better.
    Keep Bulloch Beautiful Director Brooke Carney said this is one way a bunch of little actions can become something bigger.
    “It’s an easy way for an individual to have an impact — simple as turning the lights out,” said Carney. “It’s a great illustration how if everybody does one little thing then collectively it can have a great impact.”
    Earth Hour started last year in Sydney, Australia, when 2.2 million Sydney residents and more than 2,100 businesses switched off the lights — leading to a 10.2 percent energy reduction across the city. This is equivalent to removing 48,000 cars from the roads. What began as one city taking a stand against global warming caught the attention of many around the world.
    According to the group’s Web site, www.earthhour.org, 24 global cities will participate in Earth Hour this year.
    Earth Hour is the highlight of a major campaign to encourage businesses, communities and individuals to take the simple steps needed to cut their emissions on an ongoing basis.
    It is about simple changes that will collectively make a difference — from businesses turning off the lights when the offices are empty, to households turning off appliances rather than leaving them on standby.
    The Georgia Power Company, who is also participating in the Earth Hour event in Atlanta, endorses the symbolic event, which encourages citizens to support energy efficiency throughout the year.
    The mayor and city council encourages everyone to help Statesboro “Go Green” by participating in Earth Hour.
    “It’s an interesting way to bring the community together,” Carney said.

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