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Your Plans for Earth Hour on March 23, Earth Day on April 22

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Glenn Hasek

Earth Hour and Earth Day have been recognized and marked by many in our industry over the years. Earth Hour this year will be Saturday, March 23 at 8:30 p.m. your local time. Earth Day is April 22. What are you planning to mark these occasions this year? I would love to know.

Earth Hour was first launched in 2007. This year the folks behind Earth Hour are aiming for “The Biggest Hour for Earth,” highlighting the current climate and nature crises. The first Earth Day was in 1970. The official Earth Day theme this year is “Planet vs. Plastics”.

Earth Hour and Earth Day are perfect opportunities to raise environmental awareness among guests and staff, coalesce around a fundraising effort, do volunteer work, celebrate progress, and benefit from some positive PR. It is also a revenue generating opportunity. Activities in previous years have included the creation of themed cocktails, dinner specials, or stay packages that include outdoors-related trips.

Out Go the Lights

One company example is Hard Rock International which teamed up with global conservation leader World Wildlife Fund for Earth Hour last year. Hard Rock Hotels, Cafes and Casinos around the globe participated by “going dark” for one hour. Guests at participating properties’ restaurants, bars, Rock Shops, hotel rooms, lobbies and outdoor spaces participated by engaging in fun, entertaining activities, without the use of electricity: from candle-lit dinners and acoustic musical performances to flame shows, cocktail promotions, and Kids Club events.

One individual hotel example is Hilton Sandestin Beach Golf Resort & Spa which two years ago introduced an array of family-friendly activities for a weekend-long celebration of Earth Day. Centered around turtle protection and preservation of the natural setting, guests of all ages were invited to take part in interactive experiences. Earth Day itself began with an hour-long beach clean-up where participants were provided with a voucher for one cocktail or ice cream in exchange for efforts to keep the area pristine.

Of course, every day should be Earth Day and you should always have the conservation mindset of Earth Hour. What elevates April 22 Earth Day and March 23 Earth Hour, however, is their global power to unify millions of people around concerns that impact us all.

In my almost 18 years of publishing Green Lodging News, I have watched our industry’s concern about the planet and our common destiny grow immensely. Earth Hour and Earth Day are reminders of the immense challenges that remain ahead of us.

Got some Earth Hour or Earth Day activities to share? I can be reached at greenlodgingnews@gmail.com.

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