Over 1,000 volunteers attended a ceremony in Ho Chi Minh City on Saturday to kick off the 2015 Earth Hour campaign, a global environmental movement launched by the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) to promote energy saving.
The ceremony was organized at the Youth Culture House to mark the commencement of the Vietnamese program, which has been run for the seventh time in support of the global Earth Hour campaign.
Under the local program, a series of green projects will be carried out from now to March 28.
The program is jointly operated by Sai Gon Giai Phong (Liberated Saigon) newspaper, the local Departments of Trade and Industry, and Natural Resources and Environment together with the Ho Chi Minh Communist Youth Union.
The main highlight of this year’s Earth Hour campaign is a lights-off event, which will take place from 8:30 pm to 9:30 pm on March 28 (Vietnam time).
The event, which is expected to be joined by over 5,000 locals, encourages people to switch off their unnecessary lights and other electrical appliances en masse during that one-hour period.
Following the Saturday launch ceremony, the volunteers took part in the “Chuyen Dong Xanh” (Green Motion) campaign by bicycling on streets and talking locals into joining the lights-off event.
Volunteers will also be deployed at 25 major intersections in 12 of the city’s districts, raising banners which read “20 Giay Cho Gio Trai Dat Xanh” (20 Seconds for Green Earth Hour) to urge people to save fuel by turning off their bikes’ engines while waiting for the lights to turn green.
Other activities to embrace the Earth Hour campaign include exchanging used light bulbs for energy-saving ones, exhibitions of recycled product models, replacing school roof tiles with ecologically-friendly sheet metal, and persuading owners of food shops to gift discount vouchers to their clients who sign their pledge to switch off lights during Earth Hour.
All the activities are designed to raise awareness of environmental protection and power saving among locals, particularly the young, while getting them to make changes to their lifestyle to battle climate change.
The Southeast Asian country saved around 401MW during the 2013 Earth Hour and 431MW during the 2014 event.
The Earth Hour campaign started as a lights-off event in Sydney, Australia in 2007.
Since then it has grown to engage more than 162 countries and territories worldwide, according to its website.
The campaign includes a simple yet significant action: switching off lights for one hour every year in March in attempts to enhance people’s awareness of energy saving and environmental protection on the global scale.