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Switch off and tune into Earth Hour

The EPA Division is joining the global "switch off" for Earth Hour 2010 on Saturday 27 March.

The "blackout" will extend across Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water and Environment (DPIPWE) workplaces and selected Service Tasmania shops including the Lands and Marine Board buildings and New Town laboratories in Hobart, Henty House in Launceston and the Stony Rise offices in Devonport.

And to make sure that the plunge into darkness is complete, security guards will visit the main sites to flick any forgotten switches. Exceptions will be made for security lights and those illuminated for OH&S purposes.

Staff are asked to turn off all lights, excluding emergency and security lighting, when they leave their buildings on Friday evening (March 26) or Saturday (March 27) before 8.30pm.

The DPIPWE Earth Hour effort will contribute to a considerably "dimmer" Australia as the plug is simultaneously pulled at thousands of landmarks and office buildings around the country.

Earth Hour is celebrating its third anniversary and while the hour of darkness on one day of the year is a huge show of support, organisers are calling on everyone to make an around-the-year commitment to reducing their carbon footprints by adopting energy, water and waste reducing measures.

With the theme of 'earth hour every hour', people are encouraged to think about how they can commit to better environmental outcomes in their daily lifestyles.

Meanwhile, Earth Hour will reach new heights this year, with the world's three tallest buildings - the new Burj Khalifa in Dubai, CN Tower in Toronto and Taipei 101 in Taiwan - going dark for the global event.

Famous sites across the United States, including the Golden Gate Bridge, Empire State Building, Mount Rushmore and even the lights of Las Vegas, will switch off in a decisive display of climate action from one of the most significant nations on the climate landscape.

Closer to home, Melbourne's Luna Park, Rialto Tower, Arts Centre and Crown Casino, Brisbane's Story Bridge, Adelaide's Town Hall and Rundle Mall Lantern, The National Library and Australian War Memorial in Canberra, and the Sydney Opera House, Sydney Tower, Harbour Bridge and Luna Park will switch off.

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.

Last year the concept went global with Earth Hour triggering people to "switch off" all over the world – from the Eiffel Tower in Paris to Times Square in New York. Millions of people in over 4,000 towns and municipalities in 88 countries took part.

You are invited to register your personal commitment at www.earthhour.org.au and you can calculate your carbon footprint at: http://www.earthhour.org.au/earth-hour-wwf/calculate-your-footprint