Singita Game Reserves will once again ‘power down' at each of its nine lodges across East and Southern Africa on Saturday 26 March between 20:30 and 21:30, as a symbolic gesture of its support for the World Wildlife Fund's (WWF) Earth Hour 2011, the world's largest global climate change initiative.
As hundreds of millions of people in over 4616 cities and towns across more than 128 countries join in switching off their lights and essential appliances for one hour, guests at Singita's lodges will savour an ‘unplugged' bush banquet in one of the breathtaking wilderness settings that distinguish the Singita safari experience. Guests will be able to view the lodge lights going down in the far distance as generators are turned off, with only the sounds of the bush, and the calm of the night sky and twinkling night stars above, simultaneously as the world's most iconic landmarks go dark for this designated hour.
This year's Earth Hour theme, Beyond the Hour, denotes the start of a new phase for the Earth Hour movement, requesting people across the globe to extend their support above and beyond the symbolic one hour and commit to an action, big or small, that they will sustain for the future of the planet.
Singita has undertaken two significant, ongoing actions to conserve energy at its lodges. Each day, the diesel generators that power up its Staff Village in the Kruger National Park will be switched off for a period of six hours, ultimately making a substantial saving in both energy usage and reducing diesel consumption, the latter being recognised as a major contributor to global warming.
Sister lodges at Singita Sabi Sand have installed the first of Singita Game Reserves' water bottling plants, where the Singita Guides now fill stylish green stainless steel water bottles before heading out for the day, in an effort to reduce and replace tens of dozens of plastic water bottles that are used and disposed of daily. This creative idea effectively bestows the title of ‘custodian of the planet' upon each guide, simultaneously disseminating a ‘green message' among guests, while encouraging them to make this one small positive change in their lives to benefit the planet.
Says COO for Singita Game Reserves Mark Witney: ‘There is no doubt that the environmental impact of oil and coal extraction for energy generation is significant, even if one disputes the causes or validity of the concept of climate change. Everything we can do to reduce consumption is to the benefit of the earth as a whole. We therefore wholeheartedly support the goals and purposes of Earth Hour and vow to take our efforts beyond this significant hour in terms of conserving energy at our lodges going forward.'
Singita's low-impact, high value tourism model, along with its legendary conservation projects, resonate with the goals and purposes of Earth Hour, that being to protect the planet for the benefit of all life on earth.
MORE ABOUT EARTH HOUR
Earth Hour is a global event organized by the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), also known as the World Wildlife Fund and is held on the last Saturday of March annually, during which households and businesses are encouraged to turn off their non-essential lights and other electrical appliances for one hour to raise awareness towards the need to take action on climate change. Earth Hour was conceived by WWF and The Sydney Morning Herald in 2007, when 2.2 million residents of Sydney participated by turning off all non-essential lights. Following Sydney's lead, many other cities around the world adopted the event in 2008, and since then it has grown into a global platform that is recognised across the world as the largest and most significant global climate change initiative.
Earth Hour 2011 will see the launch of a dynamic online platform www.earthhour.org/beyondthehour this year. This platform has been built with social media at its core, the idea being to capture and share the actions of individuals, governments and organisations across the globe, thereby acting as the tool to showcase and inspire commitment in one and all to protect the planet.