Yoko Ono is joined by Senator José M Serrano, Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer, Elected Officials and Advocates in encouraging all New Yorkers to participate in Earth Hour

Elected officials and environmental advocates call upon all to turn off their non-essential lights and electronics during Earth Hour, tomorrow, Saturday, March 23rd from 8:30-9:30pm 

(New York, NY) – Yoko Ono, Senator José M. Serrano (D-Manhattan/Bronx), Elected Officials, and Advocates are encouraging all New Yorkers to join together to celebrate and participate in Earth Hour 2013, happening tomorrow, Saturday, March 23rd from 8:30 to 9:30 pm. Earth Hour is an international call to action to raise awareness of global climate change by encouraging people around the world to turn off their non-essential lights and electronics in their homes or businesses for one hour.

The group is calling on New Yorkers to take a stand in the fight against climate change by supporting Earth Hour. Originating in Sydney, Australia in 2007 and organized by the World Wildlife Fund, Earth Hour now has grown in participation to nearly 7,000 cities and towns throughout 152 countries worldwide. From the Empire State Building in New York City, to the Great Wall in China, iconic landmarks across the globe will go dark for Earth Hour.

In addition to the powerful symbolic affect of Earth Hour, this event has a real and tangible environmental impact across the globe. The very first Earth Hour in Sydney saw an impressive 10.2% drop in energy usage. To put this into perspective, this was the equivalent of taking 48,613 cars off the road for an hour. The global impact has only increased since then as participation has grown significantly throughout major cities worldwide.

“Since 2008 I have sponsored resolutions in the New York State Senate urging all New Yorkers to participate in Earth Hour. From New York to Dubai to Paris to Tokyo, people across the globe are uniting in fight climate change while promoting better environmental sustainability in their communities,” Senator Serrano said. “I urge all New Yorkers to join the international community in this environmental call to action. It’s a small step – one hour is all it takes – but it will have a tremendous positive impact while being a strong unifying force against climate change.”

Ms. Yoko Ono, a staunch supporter of Earth Hour and a longtime environmental advocate, spoke of her appreciation for the world we live in and the need to maintain it for future generations. “I love you earth. You are beautiful. I love the way you are,” said Ono.

“Environmental conservation begins at home,” said Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer. “I encourage all New Yorkers to participate in Earth Hour this Saturday by disconnecting all non-essential lights and electronic equipment in their homes and businesses for sixty short minutes. This effort will conserve energy, promote the efficient use of electricity, and save real money in energy costs for New York City households. I commend Senator José M. Serrano for his leadership in bringing Earth Hour to New York City, and for encouraging New Yorkers to play a role in saving their planet.”

“I urge everyone to participate in Earth Hour, a global event designed to raise awareness about the impacts of global climate change, but more importantly, the steps that we can take as individuals to make a real difference,” said Assemblymember Linda B. Rosenthal (D/WF-Manhattan). “Given our busy schedules, many of us rarely spend time thinking about our energy consumption, but Earth Hour provides us with an opportunity to do just that while actually reducing our use,” concluded Rosenthal, who joined Serrano in sponsoring a resolution in the State Legislature commemorating Earth Hour.

“This year’s Earth Hour is more important than ever, especially here in New York,” said Marcia Bystryn, President of the New York League of Conservation Voters. “Superstorm Sandy painfully underscored just how much work lies ahead to fight climate change. All of us — from President Obama, to the next New York City mayor and every New Yorker – have a role in meeting this biggest challenge of our time. Thank you, Senator Serrano, for reminding us that the power to make change is within everyone’s grasp.”

“We commend Senator Serrano for orchestrating this concerted effort to show how we can make decisions that positively affect the way we use energy,” said Phillip Musegaas, Hudson River Program Director at Riverkeeper. “Through the report Riverkeeper co-commissioned with Natural Resources Defense Council by Synapse Energy Consultants, we’ve also shown that there are alternatives to extreme extraction methods that can lead us away from further destruction to our environment and into a cleaner, more sustainable energy future.”

“Earth Hour shows people that we can use less energy without harming our quality of life. My family will be playing board games during Earth Hour, and thousands of other New Yorkers will also be spending quality time with their families, going for evening strolls, having a candlelight dinner, and more. We can all help reduce the pollution that’s driving climate change, as every one of our actions can make a difference. Environmental Advocates applauds Senator Serrano for his continuing leadership in protecting our environment and our communities,” said David VanLuven, Policy Director of Environmental Advocates of New York.

“I’d like to thank the World Wildlife Fund, my colleagues in government, and all the environmental advocates associated with helping Earth Hour grow bigger and stronger year after year. Earth Hour is representative of how a small change – something we can all participate in – can have a huge and global impact. I encourage everyone to take that small step this Saturday and support Earth Hour,” Senator Serrano concluded.

For more information about Earth Hour and how you can join the global fight against climate change please visit www.EarthHour.org.