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Mike Steinhoff
Office of Sustainability

Steve Hinnefeld
University Communications

Last modified: Thursday, March 26, 2009

IU Bloomington is flagship campus for Earth Hour 2009

March 26, 2009

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Indiana University Bloomington will serve as a flagship campus this Saturday night (March 28) for Earth Hour, a worldwide effort in which up to a billion people will turn off their lights for one hour in a symbolic vote for action on global climate change.

Earth Hour

IU Building Services, Physical Plant, Athletics Department and Residential Programs and Services will turn out lighting that's not essential to personal safety and take other steps to reduce energy consumption for the Earth Hour initiative from 8:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. Saturday.

"Our status as a flagship campus for Earth Hour 2009 demonstrates IU Bloomington's strong commitment to helping create a sustainable environment," said Provost and Executive Vice President Karen Hanson. "As the lights are dimmed in key campus areas, the members of the Indiana University community will show solidarity with millions around the world who are concerned about the deleterious effects of climate change.

"Our participation will not only help raise awareness, but will also signal our determination to help find solutions to society's most pressing environmental problems. Our contributions will be through both research and our own operational practices."

IU Bloomington is one of 25 U.S. colleges and universities designated as flagship campuses for Earth Hour 2009. Its Earth Hour activities include:

  • Turning off interior lights in classroom and office buildings and turning off exterior lights across campus that are not essential to personal safety
  • Cycling building chillers and air handlers Saturday night to further increase energy savings
  • Turning off lights at athletic facilities, including nonessential lighting inside Assembly Hall, in secured areas of Memorial Stadium and at University Gymnasium
  • Urging students in residence halls to turn out their room lights and gather at central locations to watch NCAA tournament basketball games or take part in other activities

"Earth Hour is a worldwide effort to raise awareness about energy conservation by switching off the lights for one hour in cities across the globe," said Mckenzie Beverage, an IU Bloomington graduate student and intern with the campus Office of Sustainability. "In previous years, famous monuments such as the Eiffel Tower and the Golden Gate Bridge have gone dark. This year the IU campus and the city of Bloomington will participate and mark our commitment to the ongoing effort to work toward sustainability."

Organized by the World Wildlife Fund, Earth Hour is being observed by more than 1,500 cities, towns and villages in 80 countries. Bloomington, Ind., is a participating city, as are Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco, Beijing, Berlin, London, Mexico City, Moscow and Paris.

Earth Hour was first celebrated two years ago in Sydney, Australia, with 2.2 million people and thousands of businesses taking part. It went global in March 2008, involving more than 400 cities and over 50 million people around the world.

The goal this year is for 1 billion people to turn off their lights in a symbolic "vote for Earth," with results aimed at the 2009 United Nations Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen. Landmarks scheduled to turn out their lights for the rolling blackout on Saturday night include the Empire State Building and Broadway theaters in New York, the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C., Sears Tower in Chicago, the Las Vegas Strip,and Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco. For more information, see