Governor Pat Quinn today urged Illinois residents and businesses to participate in Earth Hour 2014 by turning off their lights for one hour on Saturday, March 29. He also ordered "lights out" from 8:30 to 9:30 p.m. that day at many state facilities, including the James R. Thompson Center, Michael A. Bilandic Building, Illinois State Fairgrounds and other state facilities in Springfield, Peoria, Rockford, Champaign, Carbondale and Marion.
"Turning out our lights for Earth Hour will not only conserve energy, it will shine a light on the need to protect our planet," Governor Quinn said. "We can help preserve our planet for generations to come by being thoughtful about how much power we use. One person can make a difference -- especially in addressing climate change."
Launched in 2007 by the World Wildlife Fund, Earth Hour is a global effort to encourage responsible energy practices by turning off non-essential lights for an hour. Hundreds of millions of people from more than 7,000 cities on seven continents went dark for 60 minutes during the 2013 Earth Hour observance.
By going dark March 29, state of Illinois buildings will join Chicago's John Hancock Center and Willis Tower, plus the cities of Chicago, Edwardsville and Orland Park as Earth Hour participants. Chicago was recently recognized as one of three Earth Hour Capitals, earning a $30,000 grant from World Wildlife Federation to kick-start a residential solar purchase program.
Under Governor Quinn, the Illinois Executive Mansion has become one of nation's greenest governor's residences. It features solar panels, LED lighting, an electric vehicle charging station and on-site composting.
Through the Illinois Green Governments Coordinating Council, the state saves energy day-in and day-out. The U.S. Green Building Council has ranked Illinois number one among all 50 states in the sustainable building design movement with more than 29 million square feet of certified green buildings, or 2.29 square feet for every Illinois resident. Sustainable building designs utilize less energy and water, which save money for families, businesses and taxpayers; reduce carbon emissions; and contribute to a healthier environment for residents, workers and the larger community.
To learn more about Earth Hour, visit www.worldwildlife.org. For more on Illinois' other environmental initiatives, visit Green.Illinois.gov.