The city of Little Rock is encouraging homes and businesses to switch off nonessential lighting for Earth Hour, a global initiative by the World Wildlife Fund to heighten awareness of climate change.
Officials said Little Rock is one of more than 7,000 cities that will go dark for an hour at 8:30 p.m. Saturday.
The World Wildlife Fund since 2007 has urged everyone to join the hour-long blackout on the same day in March. The event is geared toward "showing everyone that the world's environmental issues don't have to overwhelm us," the international nongovernmental organization says on its website.
"As good stewards of the environment, we encourage Little Rock residents, businesses and organizations to participate in Earth Hour this Saturday by turning off all non-essential lights,” Little Rock Mayor Mark Stodola said in a statement. “The City has made significant efforts to reduce energy usage and save money through innovative actions such as retrofitting most City buildings with motion-activated light switches ... With these switches in place, the City of Little Rock will be participating in Earth Hour in a substantial way.”
Stodola said the city has also worked to reduce its carbon footprint, or its total greenhouse-gas emissions, by switching to light-emitting diode traffic and cross signals; and by upgrading its heating and air-conditioning units.