Friday, March 30, 2012

In a Yearly Tradition, Earth Hour and Girl Scouts Team Up To Honor the Planet

Alabama's Montgomery Advertiser reports that On Saturday, Montgomery will become the first city in Alabama to celebrate Earth Hour. The event, held to draw attention to energy conservation, will feature a variety of events from Girl Scouts putting on glow-in-the-dark games for children and face-painting to an alternative country band and a Chinese lantern release.

Girl Scouts around the world are learning about saving energy this month through Girl Scouts Forever Green. This “100th Anniversary Take Action Project” was created after Girl Scout research found that an overwhelming number of girls consider protecting the environment a top priority.

Girls taking part in Girl Scouts Forever Green—Earth Hour are replacing incandescent light bulbs with ENERGY STAR®-qualified (or other energy-efficient) light bulbs and urging their friends and family members to do the same. In addition, girls across the country will participate in Earth Hour by turning off lights from 8:30 to 9:30 p.m. on Saturday, March 31.

“Earth Hour and Girl Scouts of the USA have a common purpose: to create a better environment for future generations,” said Andy Ridley, co-founder and executive director of Earth Hour. “Girl Scouts of the USA’s participation in Earth Hour illustrates without question what can be achieved when people unite with a common purpose and rally to action.”

Earth Hour is the largest-ever voluntary action for the environment, and Earth Hour 2011 was the biggest year in the campaign's five-year history, taking place in a record 5,251 cities and towns in 135 countries and territories in all seven continents. It had an estimated reach of 1.8 billion people across the globe. In addition to this, the campaign's digital footprint grew to 91 million. Across the United States, countless Girl Scouts will be participating in Earth Hour 2012.

Girl Scouts Western Pennsylvania (GSWPA) will be introducing a “watt watchers” project to the girl members that participate on their property site teams. They will identify the wattage each cabin uses when lights are left on and convert that to a monetary value to make users aware of the resulting waste. In addition, Girl Scout Troop 2407 of Galway, New York, asked members of the community to participate in Earth Hour while at the same time exchanging incandescent light bulbs with energy-efficient varieties. Further, Girl Scouts of Colorado will host two Earth Hour events in Fort Collins and Colorado Springs, sharing environmental messages and discussing ways to sustain our natural resources. A light bulb exchange will also take place.

The Chicago Tribune reports that Girl Scouts of Northern Illinois (GSNI) will join Girl Scouts nationwide as they celebrate Earth Hour. "Our girls are thrilled about participating in a meaningful global initiative that makes a positive impact on the environment," said Vicki Wright, GSNI CEO. “It’s also a significant lesson in teamwork and giving back to our community.”

“By participating in the Girl Scouts Forever Green Earth Hour project, girls are making a significant environmental statement, saving energy both here in the U.S. and globally with Girl Scouts around the world," said Sue Williams, national operational volunteer, Girl Scouts Forever Green. "This has been a true test of the power of Girl Scout leadership and our enduring commitment to protecting the environment."

In February, Earth Hour launched its 2012 campaign, “I Will If You Will,” with the intention of engaging its growing global community to “go beyond the hour.” Using a dedicated YouTube platform (www.youtube.com/earthhour), IWIYW asks Earth Hour's digital community to inspire people from all corners of the globe to take sustainability actions, and to share their commitment to the environment with their own social media networks.

Girl Scouts Forever Green also seeks a broad reach, encouraging everyone to take the online Girl Scouts Forever Green Pledge developed in partnership with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The pledge supports resource conservation activities and the measurement of their impact.

The Coloradoan reports that Girl Scouts of Colorado invites residents to be part of their Girl Scouts Forever Green 100th Anniversary Take Action Project: Earth Hour. Girl Scouts, in collaboration with the CSU Warner College of Natural Resources, will host the event from 5 to 8:30 p.m. Saturday at the CSU Lory Student Center’s North Ballroom.

The Salt Lake Tribune reports that Utahns are taking part in the worldwide celebration of Earth Hour this week by turning off their lights for 60 minutes. This year, Girl Scout Hallie Martinez is trying to recruit 100 families to participate in Earth Hour.