The UMD campus will be turning down the lights to celebrate Earth Hour 2010, Saturday, March 27, from 8:30-9:30 p.m. Earth Hour is a global event to raise awareness about climate change. Households and businesses are encouraged to turn off non-essential lights for one hour to raise awareness about the need for people to take action on climate change.
Earth Hour first began in Sydney, Australia in 2007. The event has now spread across the globe. UMD will be participating throughout the campus to show its involvement. Campus parking lot lights and streetlights will be switched to their reduced night-lighting scheme, and numerous decorative and outdoor lights will be turned off, including the UMD Library and the Darland Administration Building. UMD residence halls will hold a "Non Lighting Competition", rewarding the dorm floor having the most rooms with lights out during the hour.
UMD Housing students, led by student Tom Cariveau, have gained considerable community involvement for the event; the Aerial Lift Bridge, Trailfitters, Chester Creek Café, and the Fitgers Brewhouse are all working to reduce lighting during the hour.
Earth Hour sends an important message, because conservation of energy is the easiest way to reduce greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to global climate change. At UMD, the purchase of electricity is the largest source (68 percent) of greenhouse gas emissions. By turning off lights, unplugging unneeded items and shutting down computers, everyone can help reduce the green house gas emissions both on the UMD campus and in the community.