Canadians prepare to join Earth Hour in flicking off their lights

The Canadian Press
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TORONTO - Canadians coast to coast are being urged to join people around in the world in marking Earth Hour tonight.

People are being asked to turn off their lights between 8:30 and 9:30 p.m. local time with utilities are joining environmental groups to plead for people to power down.

B.C. Hydro has made a pitch on its website, urging consumers to join in and also make plans to reduce energy use year around.

It says last year British Columbians turned off the equivalent of 7.8 million 15-watt compact fluorescent light bulbs for the hour.

The utility says if everyone in B.C. made the same conservation efforts for an hour every evening, the electricity saved could power close to 4,000 homes for an entire year.

Ontario electricity provider Hydro One says it will mark Earth Hour by turning off non-essential electrical equipment at its office facilities across the province.

A couple of candlelight walks are planned for Toronto and some hotels are planning to turn off their lights for the hour and have candlelight dinners or candlelight swims.

Events are taking place across the world and Australians were among the first to mark Earth Hour with Sydney's iconic Harbour Bridge and Opera House going dark Saturday night.

WWF, the Washington-based environmental group that organizes the event, says the number of countries and territories participating had grown from 135 last year to 147 this year.