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Don't Forget to Turn Off the Lights for Earth Hour

Millions expected to participate in symbolic gesture of energy conservation.

Residents of Lake Zurich and throughout Illinois will join millions around the world in turning off the lights of their homes and businesses from 8:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m., tonight, in honor of Earth Hour.

A World Wildlife Fund (WWF) global event presented locally by ComEd, Earth Hour encourages people to take one simple step — turning out the lights — in a symbolic gesture of solidarity in creating a more sustainable future for the planet.

This year, Earth Hour organizers are encouraging people to think “beyond the hour.” In addition to turning off for the hour, participants are asked to take additional steps in their daily lives to help conserve energy. This could mean biking to work once a week, starting a recycling program at school or at work, or simply being more mindful of electricity usage. Earth Hour supporters can go to BeyondTheHour.org or ComEd.com/SmartIdeas for more ideas on sustainable living.

 “ComEd is committed to helping our customers conserve energy to save money and protect the environment,” said Anne Pramaggiore, president and chief operating officer of ComEd. “Earth Hour is a great reminder that small steps every day, when taken together, can have a big impact. We are excited to return as the presenting sponsor of the Earth Hour Illinois campaign and encourage all our customers and employees to participate.”

Last year, Illinois residents celebrated Earth Hour in many different ways: restaurants held candlelit dinners with organic and slow-cooked meals, bars served glow-in-the-dark cocktails, businesses implemented new “green” practices and families enjoyed various “lights out” festivities.

Earth Hour began in Sydney in 2007, when two million people switched off their lights in an effort to raise awareness about climate change. By 2010, Earth Hour had created history as a landmark environmental action, with participation across 128 countries and every continent. Last year, some of the world’s most recognized landmarks participated in this historic event, including China’s Forbidden City, the Eiffel Tower, Buckingham Palace, the Golden Gate Bridge, the Great Pyramids of Giza, Table Mountain, the Christ the Redeemer statue in Rio de Janeiro and Sydney’s Opera House.

“Earth Hour’s rapid growth over four years has proven that hundreds of millions of people want to do more to protect their planet,” said Andy Ridley, Co-founder and Executive Director of Earth Hour. “Whether it’s a child changing a classroom or a president changing a country, people, organizations and governments everywhere are invited to switch off their lights for Earth Hour 2011 and commit to taking action beyond the hour.”

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