No Lights

19 March 2009 text Dima Chakarova, photos by Ilian Rujin
In 2007 over 2 million people in Sydney turned their lights out for one hour and called this initiative Earth Hour. This nice local campaign quickly took over the world and on 28 March 1500 cities will try to do this again. Among them is Sofia and the main initiator is the Bulgarian branch of the WWF. For this and other eco activities we asked Tanya Kirova - an economist by education and ecologist by vocation.

Why do we have to take part in the Earth Hour?
We hope more than 1 billion people in more than 80 countries to take part in our initiative. 40 of the biggest cities in the world have confirmed participation so some of their most famous buildings will be turned out for an hour.

One hour is too short a time to expect some drastic changes.
Yes, one hour will not be a big change. And what is more, we beg the citizens, the business and the institutions just to turn off their electric lights. This, however, can be the beginning of a nice habit to turn off all devices that are not in use.

Did the state institutions respond positively to their participation in the campaign?
To my surprise - yes. Not too fast, but as Earth Hour approaches, more and more participants are coming.

The Bulgarian branch of the WWF is very active, but do you achieve something?
Yes, last year's protests are a good example. The results are already visible. Recently a debate emerged about the directors of national parks.

What else can we expect from you?
By the end of the week expect the special climate truck of the WWF, which is a mobile centre for demonstrations of different new technologies which are eco-friendly. Besides, on 27 March in Dom na kinoto will be shown the Climate Watchers movies and on Earth's Day we are planning an open-air concert in front of the National Theatre.


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