For Immediate Release
March 23, 2011
For More Information Contact:
Mayor's Press Office
Mayor Thomas M. Menino today announced that the City of Boston will continue its participation in Lights Out Boston and Earth Hour, two campaigns that work to raise awareness on the importance of climate action and energy conservation. Lights Out Boston, now in its fifth season, begins this week with more than 45 building owners and property managers participating. The program asks participants to turn off or dim non-essential lighting between 11 PM and 5 AM during the spring migratory bird season. Separately, the World Wildlife Fund’s annual Earth Hour encouraging participants to extinguish all non-essential lighting for one hour will take place on Saturday, March 26, 2011 from 8:30 PM to 9:30 PM.
“By turning off the lights on some of Boston’s most iconic skyscrapers and in our own homes, we can draw attention to the importance of local action in addressing the global challenge of climate change,” Mayor Menino said. “These collective actions among the Boston community highlight how small and simple changes can make a significant impact in reducing energy use.”
Lights Out Boston aims to both save energy and protect migratory birds. By dimming the iconic downtown Boston skyline, the innovative Lights Out Boston program encourages businesses to use energy more efficiently. When a city skyline—especially buildings over 20 stories high—is brightly lit at night, the lights can disorient the birds traveling through the urban environment. Although scientists are unsure of the exact reasons for this problem, birds can fly as low as 500 feet during inclement weather, and skyscrapers are the most visible part of the city to migrating birds. The initiative runs through May 31st.
“I am again pleased to be joining with Mayor Menino in this the 3rd year of Lights Out Boston!,” said Laura Johnson, President of Mass Audubon. “Lights Out Boston! builds on an environmental partnership established between the City of Boston and Mass Audubon over many years, especially with the opening in 2003 of the City’s 1st green building at the Boston Nature Center.”
For Earth Hour 2011, iconic Boston buildings and landmarks such as the Custom House, the John Hancock Building, the Boston Children’s Museum, the State House and the Prudential Center will be participating, along with many building owners and property managers, businesses, institutions, universities, hotels and neighborhood organizations that have enthusiastically pledged their support. The InterContinental Hotel has produced a YouTube video that highlights the international nature of the event, and can be found on the City of Boston’s Earth Hour page at http://www.cityofboston.gov/earthhour.
“Our team is engaged in many comprehensive initiatives and Earth Hour will be a great success and a terrific morale builder,” said General Manager, Tim Kirwan, of the InterContinental Hotel. “It’s fun to fire up the troops in a call to save the planet!”
“Under Mayor Menino’s leadership, we are bringing the entire community together to address the issues of climate change and take advantage of the opportunities of our growing green economy,” said Jim Hunt, Boston’s Chief of Environment and Energy. “By simply turning out the lights, we can all demonstrate our commitment to a greener, more prosperous future for our people and planet.”
The City of Boston is a nationally recognized leader in environmental and energy policy. Boston is the first major city in the nation to require all large private construction projects adhere to the US Green Building Council’s LEED standards and is the largest municipal purchaser of wind power in New England. For these efforts, Boston was recently named the 3rd Greenest City in North America by Popular Science Magazine and 6th by Sustainlane.com.
To learn more about Earth Hour, Lights Out Boston, and ways to reduce carbon footprints throughout the year, visit the City of Boston’s Environmental and Energy Services page online at www.cityofboston.gov/environmentalandenergy.gov.