Earth Hour Las Vegas is here once more, so get out your cameras….and a flashlight….
Things are about to go dark on the Strip. But don’t worry, the power “outage” isn’t a mishap…it’s part of a planet-wide awareness movement. Known as Earth Hour, the annual event will be making its eighth Vegas appearance…er, disappearance this Saturday, March 26th from 8:30 pm to 9:30 pm. And it’s really a sight
not to see.
Our photographer Greg C. captured the awesome banner shot above. It demonstrates the Cosmopolitan’s familiar light show before and during a nap back in 2015. He also provided the glorious video clip below, taken the same year:
Earth Hour is more than just a publicity stunt or meaningless tradition. It’s part of a global initiative to bring awareness to the threats of climate change and related environmental concerns. More than 160 nations participate in Earth Hour, which was started by the World Wildlife Fund back in 2007.
To be a part of Earth Hour, individuals, organizations, landmarks and businesses are encouraged to turn off all non-essential lighting for 60 minutes. During that time and (and throughout the evening), events are held to support and publicize global green initiatives.
Here’s what the Venetian has in store for tomorrow:
The Venetian will celebrate Earth Hour in grand style in the Doge’s Palace plaza, in front of The Venetian. The resort’s official “Earth Hour DJ” will lead a countdown to the 8:30 p.m. start of Earth Hour, when all exterior building lights on The Venetian and The Palazzo will be turned off for one hour.Team Members and guests will come together (while enjoying music and an inspired Earth Hour beverage) to create a planet Earth “mural” on the plaza using LED tea lights, beginning at 8 p.m. Free seed packets will be distributed while supplies last. For the remainder of the evening (after Earth Hour), the resort will turn its exterior tower signs green.
According to the World Wildlife Fund‘s official site:
“WWF’s Earth Hour shows us how each of us can be heroes for our planet, our home. Our actions today can change our tomorrow – together, let’s #ChangeClimateChange”.
Since its Las Vegas beginnings, I’ve heard many cynics saying that an hour’s worth of electricity is just a drop in the ocean, so to speak. But that’s not really the point of Earth Hour. Awareness is everything, and even a city of excess can take big steps to reduce their impact on the environment throughout the year.
For instance, Caesars Corporation cites environmental stewardship as one of the four pillars of their Code of Commitment. CET initiated “Code Green” in 2008 with a promise to preserve the planet for current and future generations. You can read about their effort by visiting here.
MGM Resorts has their own environmental sustainability program. Its highest-profile effort so far has been the construction of the world’s largest rooftop solar array atop the Mandalay Bay Convention Center.
Venetian/Palazzo boasts several awards for their Sands ECO360 Global Sustainability Program, which minimizes global impact in their building and operations programs. Parent company Las Vegas Sands Corp. is rated highest in the world for hospitality companies by Newsweek’s 2016 Green Ranking.
It’s really an understatement to say that building a city in the middle of the desert was impractical and excessive. But of course, Vegas has always boasted about its over-the-top qualities. However, as cultural shifts (and a rapidly-dwindling Lake Mead) remind us, the viability of life in Vegas valley would reach a tipping point without methods to address what we consume there.
To that end, we’ve seen big changes in the way that mega-resorts…and even the smaller hotels…are handling the mass consumption of resources. It’s now somewhat common for resorts to offer dining or other incentives when opting out of daily housekeeping. Water-saving shower heads, high-efficiency toilets, and energy-efficient bulbs have been installed throughout the city.
In many hotels, “smart” thermostats and motion sensors curtail unnecessary lighting and cooling. The majority of guest and convention trash is sorted and recycled in massive efforts that guests will never see. Reclaimed and green-wise building materials are now the norm. Even a large portion of the ill-fated Harmon Hotel‘s materials were collected for re-purposing.
So when the lights go dark on the Strip this Saturday, enjoy the coolness factor and take lots of memorable photos. But please remember the message that Earth Hour brings…and how we can all make a difference.
You can learn more by visiting EarthHour.org via this link.
Photos: [Greg C., Sammasseur, Venetian, EarthHour.org]