Minneapolis turning out the lights for “Earth Hour” to raise awareness of global climate change

Minneapolis is taking part in Earth Hour again this year and asking residents and businesses to participate. From 8:30 to 9:30 p.m. Saturday, March 23, the City will turn off all uses of electricity in municipal buildings that is not required for life, safety or operations. City facilities already use minimal power when not in use. Individuals, businesses, governments and organizations around the world turn off their lights for Earth Hour to make a global statement of concern about climate change and demonstrate their commitment to finding solutions. The City of Minneapolis has participated in Earth Hour since 2008.

In Minneapolis, electricity use accounts for 40 percent of greenhouse gas pollution, which contributes to global climate change. Residents of Minneapolis are encouraged to participate in Earth Hour and reduce their energy use during every hour of the year.

Earth Hour has grown from a one-city initiative in 2007 to a 7,001-city global movement, last year reaching hundreds of millions of people in 152 countries across all seven continents.Learn more, sign up and share your ideas at http://earthhour.org.

Lights Out for birds

Each year, the City also commends the city buildings that participate in Audubon Minnesota’s Lights Out program. Most birds migrate at night and can be drawn off course by tall, lighted structures in their flight paths. Many birds are killed or injured in collisions with buildings or drop from exhaustion after circling them, reluctant to fly out of the light. Lights Out programs can dramatically reduce these collisions. In the voluntary program, building owners, managers and tenants work together to ensure that all unnecessary lights are off during spring and fall bird migration. In Minnesota, the Lights Out program has been ongoing since 2007. In addition to Audubon Minnesota, it is supported by Minneapolis and Saint Paul Building Owners and Managers Associations and by the individual building staff. Besides saving birds, the Lights Out program saves a considerable amount of energy and money and reduces carbon dioxide pollution.

To read the 2013 City resolution about Earth Hour and Lights Out for birds, visit http://www.minneapolismn.gov/www/groups/public/@clerk/documents/webcontent/wcms1p-104635.pdf.

To learn more about Minneapolis’ sustainable policies and practices, visit www.minneapolismn.gov/sustainability.

Published Mar 22, 2013