EARTH HOUR – WHERE SAVING ELECTRICITY FOR AN HOUR SHOULD NOT BE THE FOCUS OF LOCAL HOTEL OWNERS
(Posted 19th March 2016)
A local Ugandan hotel owner, name withheld to spare him the acute embarrassment, topped the answers received when requesting comments from a few, an attempt then abandoned with *SMH* written all over this correspondent’s face.
‘Banange, but candles also cost money when we switch off the electricity. In fact I am happy to have electricity here because for long this was not reliable. Now you say this one hour of no lights helps to save the planet? Me I am worried that this darkness could be used by thieves to break into my hotel. I am also worried that my clients will maybe sneak away under cover of darkness to avoid paying their bills‘, a clear case of lack of enlightenment, understanding of the aims of Earth Hour and broadly a lack of seeking the information which could have moderated such utterances.
Thankfully are not all hotels, resorts and safari lodges so ignorant. Across the region have the leading hotel operators pulled out all the stops to make Earth Hour a success, as between 20.30 hrs and 21.30 hrs the lights go out and make way for candles or increasingly often solar lights.
Special menus help to enhance the atmosphere tonight and give visiting tourists the opportunity to see some real action against climate change and appreciate the widening green footprint of East African countries.
Apart from Serena Hotels did no one share their action programme however, apart from confirming that indeed their lights would go out, giving pole position to Serena which has a special activity, in some properties in conjunction with other conservation NGO’s lined up:
It should be pointed out that among other hotels has the Sheraton Kampala informed and as usual gone on record that only legally required lighting will remain on, illuminating emergency exits and fire escapes, an understandable and acceptable precaution of course for a hotel which operates across 12 floors.
Sheraton being part of Starwood Hotels of course, as does Serena Hotels, have developed a keen sense of conservation across their various hotels brands, increasing the use of renewable energy sources and cutting down on wastage and use of electricity, water and other inputs requiring energy.
Information from the Indian Ocean islands of Seychelles and Mauritius about Starwood’s brands Le Meridien, St. Regis and Westin indicate that they have fully embraced the opportunity to show their guests their green credentials and will in fact kick off the hour with a short ‘vigil’ before moving to a ‘Glow In The Dark‘ hour in relative darkness.
Earth Hour 2016 – be part of it and switch off your lights tonight, between 08.30pm and 09.30pm, to play your part as the event rolls out across the entire globe.
Find out more about this annual event by clicking on www.earthhour.org