THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: For one hour, many residences and organisations 'severed' ties with the power-grid, by switching off lights as they celebrated Earth Hour on Saturday. The worldwide movement against global warming and climate change was organised with much gaiety in the city. Programmes were led by the state chapter of the World Wide Fund (WWF).
It kicked off with a 'cyclothon', a cycle -ride, from Manaveeyam as a set of cyclists from the city embarked on a ride from the Manaveeyam Veedhi bearing the message of 'GIVE UP to GIVE BACK'.
Simultaneously, another programme was underway at the Museum and Zoo Compound to target morning walkers. A set of games was held and the winners were presented with LED bulbs, driving home the message of sustainability.
To drive home the message of the GIVEUP campaign, WWF is planning to make organisations and individuals pledge to give up single-use plastics and also wastage of power, paper, water, motorised vehicles at least for one day in a week.
"Discussions are on with authorities of Park Centre, Technopark Campus to join in the GIVEUP campaign and also encourage the 150 plus companies and their 56,000 employees to pledge to Give Up," said Renjan Mathew Varghese, state director, WWF-India.
The cycle ride saw the participation of close to 50 cyclists. Members of Indus Cycling Embassy, Ilaveyil (Senior Citizens Cycling Group), Douglas Memorial Cycling Club of LNCPE, CET Cycling Club and other individual cyclists participated in the cycle ride.
The evening function saw mayor V K Prasanth signing the GIVEUP Letter of Intent (LoI) on behalf of the Thiruvananthapuram Corporation. The pledge was on giving up single-use plastics and wastage of paper and water within the the Corporation office and on giving up the use of disposable plates, cups externally within the Corporation limits; Giving up air, water and land pollution by formulation and enforcement of Green Protocols, among others.
The members of the Manaveeyam Folksong Team rendered folk songs and this was followed by switching off the lights to observe Earth Hour and a candle light vigil.
The Earth Hour was organised in the city by WWF in association with the Department of Environment and Climate Change, Department of Museum & Zoos, Energy Management Centre, KSEB, NIMS, and Indus Cycling Embassy among others. The programme saw a huge response and a lot many joined in the Earth Hour observance.
"Over the year, the perspective of people towards Earth Hour has changed. Now we needn't introduce Earth Hour, they are all aware of it. And most of the people we interacted with were keen on doing away with single-use plastics such as the straw, disposable plates and such. This time, the thrust has been on encouraging the people to eschew single-use plastics and on depending less on natural resources," said A K Sivakumar, senior education officer, WWF-India, Kerala Chapter.