I reported on some examples of this year’s Earth Hour activities (March 27, 8:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. local time) in a previous blog. I since heard from Pechanga Resort Casino (Temecula, Calif.) that it also participated in the activity by extinguishing its bright and colorful exterior lighting for one hour. Pechanga joined thousands of other landmark locations throughout the country and the world in commemorating Earth Hour 2021. Guests at Pechanga at that time saw the ascending multi-colored lights at the ends of the hotel towers switch off (see video), followed by the beams of up and down white lighting that shows off the resort/casino at nighttime.
Earth Hour started as a symbolic, lights-out event in 2007 in Sydney, Australia. According to EarthHour.org, it is now the world’s largest grassroots movement for the environment, evoking change for the planet by millions of people.
Earth Hour signifies the tireless ecologically responsible commitment Pechanga Resort Casino has practiced for decades. The Temecula resort’s Green Team, a group of team member volunteers, is tasked with finding new ways to make the property’s eco-footprint as small as possible. Pre-COVID-19, Pechanga employed a robust recycling program annually turning over more than 90,000 pounds of meat bones and fat, 322,575 pounds of used cooking oil, 50 tons of glass, 70 tons of aluminum and 300 tons of cardboard for recycling. Pechanga also recycled nearly 10 tons of food scraps every month, sending them to be turned into compost and biofuel. More than 100,000 gallons of water gets collected annually from condensation created by internal turbines, and the resort’s golf course saves millions of gallons of rain and runoff water each year. Much of that water savings is used to irrigate the course.
The Pechanga Resort Casino donates approximately 20,000 no-longer-full rolls of toilet paper every year to rescue missions across the Inland Empire. Gently used, clean blankets, pillowcases, bed sheets and ironing boards are also regularly donated to the organizations that work to provide basic necessities to the working poor and homeless of Southern California.
Pechanga also believes in utilizing the utmost ecologically conscious practices throughout the resort/casino, but guests may never know the difference. All 1,100 of the resort’s rooms and suites built as part of the major resort expansion feature automatic energy-reduction lighting. Guests must insert their key card into a slot inside their hotel room door for the lights to stay on. If they do not, lights are automatically dimmed up to 70 percent. Low flow water fixtures are standard throughout the property.