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AT 8:30PM on Saturday 26th March 2011, lights will switch off around the globe for Earth Hour and people will commit to actions that go beyond the hour.

With Earth Hour almost upon us, our thoughts are with the people of Japan during this incredibly challenging and sad time for their country.

A global activity aimed at raising awareness of global warming, Earth Hour began in Sydney in 2007, when 2.2 million homes and businesses switched off their lights for one hour.

In 2008 the message had grown into a global sustainability movement, with 50 million people switching off their lights. Global landmarks such as the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, Rome's Colosseum, the Sydney Opera House and the Coca Cola billboard in Times Square all stood in darkness.

Now on its fourth year in the Philippines, Earth Hour again aims to "engulf the entire country—from Batanes to Tawi-Tawi—in darkness."

For two years now, the Philippines has consistently topped global Earth Hour participation, with ten million Pinoys switching off in 2009 and 15 million in 2010. That same year, over a billion people from 128 countries participated in Earth Hour 2010— making it as the single largest grassroots environmental event in human history.

"Though it would be wonderful to again be number one in terms of participation, we must emphasize that Earth Hour is but 60 minutes long," says Gia Ibay of Earth Hour Pilipinas.

"If we want lasting and effective results, then we must inculcate the true spirit of the event into our lives, which is to reduce our consumption of power, water and other critical resources. We want Filipinos to pledge to a year-long commitment to reduce their energy usage. Remember, it starts with nothing more than a conscious decision."

Remember the date: 26 March 2011, Saturday, 8:30PM. Yes, eK! supports Earth Hour!

From Earth Hour: It's Your Hour!

If you would like to run Earth Hour in your own country/territory, city or town, please contact us

Whether you are an individual, a business, a school or a city, Earth Hour 2011 is your Earth Hour. And you can show your support for the planet in the following ways:

1) Turning off your lights at 8.30PM on March 26 2011 wherever you are in the world and sign up to let us know you will be taking part.

2) Run your own Earth Hour event, street or house party with friends and family.

3) Take Earth Hour beyond the Hour by taking action for the planet and telling us all about it.

4) Tell the world through social media , or add our tools and downloads to your blogs and websites.

5) Encourage your local government or community groups to run earth Hour in your region.

6) Rally your office or business to get involved.

7) Make a Lantern and send it your friends

For more information about what you or your organization can do to support Earth Hour, check out our How to Guides.

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-Posted: 9:30 AM 3/22/11