On March 24, Beijing National Stadium (also known as the Bird's Nest), as well as many other landmarks across China, switched off their lights at 8:30 p.m. for an hour as part of China's effort as a participant in a global movement which brings millions together across the world to call for greater actions on environmental protection.
Organized by the World Wide Fund for Nature, the movement, called the "Earth Hour," encourages individuals, communities, and businesses to turn off non-essential electric lights for one hour as a visual display of their commitment and a symbolic show of solidarity for the planet.
The movement's debut ceremony was held at the Bird's Nest in 2009. Run by the Beijing State-Owned Assets Management Co., Ltd., the Bird's Nest is one of the major venues for the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games and a landmark in the Chinese capital. It has been an advocate and practitioner of energy conservation, emission reduction and environmental protection. The stadium adopts advanced energy-saving design and environmental protection measures, such as natural ventilation and natural lighting, comprehensive recycle of rainwater, and utilization of renewable geothermal energy.
This year's event encourages people to adopt a green lifestyle that is friendly to the natural environment, beneficial to energy conservation and emission reduction, and helpful for promoting environmental protection and sustainable development in society.
Lo Sze Ping, chief representative of WWF's Beijing Office, said he hopes the event could guide the public to act beyond the 60 minutes, and turn the efforts toward protecting the ecology, the environment, and people's health into an everyday lifestyle.
The one-hour lights out at the Bird's Nest is estimated to save over 1,000 kilowatt-hours of electricity, and reduce carbon dioxide emission for approximately one ton.