Monday, January 22, 2018

An environmental turn-off

Save electricity for Earth Hour


Downloadable wallpaper from the World Wildlife Fund website.

Mark Fraser

Across the globe, thousands of people are gearing up to make their stamp on energy conservation.

First Media Ltd in collaboration with Earth Hour Caribbean on Saturday will observe Earth Hour from 8.30 p.m. to 9.30 p.m. It is an annual event organised by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) which began in Sydney, Australia, in 2007.

Every year for Earth Hour, people shut off all essential lights as a symbolic gesture meant to stimulate dialogue and resource exchange in a bid to find solutions to environmental challenges. Overtime Earth Hour has gained popularity and moved from a simple event to a worldwide campaign that, as of 2012 had attracted close to 7,000 cities and over 150 countries.

Earth Hour was created to raise awareness of the effects of energy consumption and stimulate accountability among individuals, businesses and governments for their ecological footprint.

Recently First Media Ltd, a Caribbean-based technology company, launched an online discovery engine. Designed to bridge the gap between businesses and consumers, First Media Ltd (First) comprises profiles of over 50,000 locations in Trinidad and Tobago, Jamaica and Barbados. The online community will continue to expand as users across the region, and the world, sign up to the network, known as F1RSTNation.

A project three years in the making went live at 12.01 a.m. on February 1 and thousands of users flocked to the website, and downloaded the mobile app. As a result, it spent the weekend at the No. 2 spot among the Apple Store’s top free downloads, ahead of popular platforms like YouTube, Whatsapp, Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.

The application is accessible via a website ( and a mobile application for iOS and Android.

On Saturday, Earth Hour will also be recognised in the various time zones between the hours of 8.30 and 9.30 p.m. Persons participating in the exercise will turn off all non-essential lights for 60 minutes to celebrate their commitment to preserving the planet. Additionally, all First Media Ltd (First) users, that is persons who have downloaded the new mobile app for iOS and Android, will receive a special ‘badge’ in recognition of Earth Hour. The badge will serve as a form of inspiration for each user to take their Earth Hour commitment beyond this one-hour time period and consider their carbon footprint as they go about their daily routines.

Increased temperatures and intensified hurricane seasons demonstrate the vulnerability of the islands of the Caribbean to the effects of climate change. First Media Ltd recognises the importance of the climate to the livelihood of every Caribbean citizen and the intention is that this activity will mobilise its growing online community to join the conversation and activities taking place around this critical topic.

Both First Media Ltd and Earth Hour Caribbean anticipate that this display of commitment will transcend beyond the hour and into the everyday lives of citizens around the world, but primarily across the Caribbean, as we collectively strive to preserve the region’s natural beauty.

In a first of its kind partnership, Spider-Man will be the first superhero ambassador for Earth Hour, with a message to inspire individuals to use their power to become superheroes for the planet.

Andy Ridley, CEO and co-founder of