Earth Hour started in 2007 in Sydney, Australia when 2.2 million individuals and more than 2,000 businesses turned their lights off for one hour to take a stand against climate change. Only a year later and Earth Hour had become a global sustainability movement with more than 50 million people across 35 countries/territories participating. Global landmarks such as the Sydney Harbour Bridge, CN Tower in Toronto, Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, and Rome’s Colosseum, all stood in darkness, as symbols of hope for a cause that grows more urgent by the hour.

In March 2009, hundreds of millions of people took part in the third Earth Hour. Over 4000 cities in 88 countries/territories officially switched off to pledge their support for the planet, making Earth Hour 2009 the world’s largest global climate change initiative.

On Saturday 27 March, Earth Hour 2010 became the biggest Earth Hour ever. A record 128 countries and territories joined the global display of climate action. Iconic buildings and landmarks from Asia Pacific to Europe and Africa to the Americas switched off. People across the world from all walks of life turned off their lights and came together in celebration and contemplation of the one thing we all have in common – our planet.

Earth Hour 2011 took place on Saturday 26 March at 8:30PM (local time).  At Karula, being a contemporary, unique and innovative lodge, we decided that to pledge our support against climate change we would go one step further. From the time the guests returned from safari (7:00PM), throughout dinner and until they went to bed (8:00PM) there was not one single light burning in the lodge. This doubled the standard blackout to two hours. So as not to inconvenience our guests, we lined the pathways and dining area with twinkling lanterns which bathed the scene with wonderfully romantic flickering lights. Each one of our guests commented on what a wonderful idea it was and on what a statement it made for the environment. This was exactly our aim and even if only a few people were impacted by this gesture they will create a ripple effect reaching hundreds, thousands and eventually millions of people… Together we can make a difference.

Cameron Pearce – Head Ranger, Kapama Karula

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