This year the Green Building Council South Africa (GBCSA) once again partnered with the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) to support Earth Hour 2017 – a global WWF initiative that encourages people to switch off their lights as a symbolic gesture of unity to reflect on our impact on the planet in a global citizen movement for positive change for the environment.
Taking place on Saturday, 25 March from 20h30 to 21h30 local time, the City of Johannesburg and City of Tshwane, Nelson Mandela Square and Sandton City, and the V&A Waterfront joined the GBCSA and WWF, alongside the rest of the world, in fighting for a better future for the planet.
A number of Johannesburg’s iconic buildings and landmarks such as the Nelson Mandela Bridge and Metro Centre, the City’s headquarters in Braamfontein, were plunged into darkness in support of the annual global initiative, while the Sandton City Dome was illuminated in green in the lead up to Earth Hour, in a bid to raise awareness of the event. The City of Johannesburg, GBCSA and WWF also challenged members of the South African Property Owners Association to switch off the lights in their buildings.
The City of Tshwane marked the event with an intimate evening under the stars at Menlyn Maine with the Executive Mayor, as well as a community engagement event in Atteridgeville where community members learned all about veggie gardening and composting.
In Cape Town, the V&A Waterfront hosted a solar powered film screening with the inspiring Sunshine Cinema, using mobile, solar-powered cinema during Earth Hour.
Dorah Modise, CEO of the GBCSA, says the Earth Hour movement has developed over time into more than just switching off lights for an hour. “It’s about collective action towards combating climate change. It’s about going beyond the hour through daily decisions aimed at conserving our natural resources and about being informed and spreading awareness about opportunities for collective action,” says Modise.
GBCSA champions the application of green building principles and practices in South Africa, seeking to inspire cities, communities and buildings which help people and planet thrive. It was founded in 2007 as part of a larger network of Green Building Councils globally.