The Earth Hour Kuwait celebrated at KIPCO Tower was concurrent with the global Earth Hour event observed each year on 28 March with an hour-shutdown of unnecessary lighting. The event which was organized under the theme of ‘60+’ emphasized the need for environment-friendly efforts to be continued beyond just celebrating Earth Hour.
With the shutdown of lights at the tower and its adjacent buildings, from 8:30pm to 9:30pm, in line with observances around the world, a team of the official organizers of Earth Hour in Kuwait – Kuwaiti Team for Global Warming – lit up candles arranged in the model of a ship. A dozen booths showcased their environment friendly products, ideas and efforts, while graffiti artists engaged the crowd with their live graffiti on the underlying theme, and local bands entertained with live music.
The Kuwait Team for Global Warming, since 2008, has been officially organizing the participation of Kuwait in the event. "Although, not a large number of people in Kuwait are engaging in solutions to the gripping issues – global warming, excessive energy consumption, recycling and reuse – I see that Kuwait has begun to be a better aware nation," said Mishael, a member of the team.
Unnecessary lightings are switched off for one hour of a specific day to show human ability to reduce carbon dioxide gas emissions, which result from burning fossil fuels and are considered the main cause for global warming phenomenon, rather than for the purpose of restricting electricity consumption.
"As a biomechanical engineer, I know how difficult it is for the landfills of plastic waste to decompose. But I also know that, if individuals manage their wastes efficiently on a day-to-day basis, and stick to environment-friendly solutions, the results are of quiet a magnitude in nature."
Mishael also appreciated the fact that the management at the KIPCO Tower was receptive enough "to lend an open space free of cost for such an event. They also readily agreed on switching off the lights at the tower and even sent us helpers who work here."
The Kuwait Oil Company (KOC), joined in with the rest of the world observing the Earth Hour, which saw the company showcase creative merchandise including flower vases and containers made of reused metals, and an art installation made of plastic bottles.
Its representatives laid emphasis on recycled materials, especially through its 'Recyle Me' bottle, each of which contains around 1000 empty bottles. Speaking on the recycling and reuse projects by KOC, a representative revealed that the bottles in their art installation were "collected from one project site office in just three months, where average three persons are stationed on one working day."
The Museum of Modern Art displayed booths full of recreated art – which included paper cups turned into art pieces with designs on them, a robot assembled from spare electronic parts, a shopping cart squeezed to about the quarter of its width and turned into a decorative light holder – being few of them.
The director of the museum, Maha Al Mansour, explained, "These are a part of our project, the event for which we recently finished with. We conduct such events annually, where we gather artists who have a knack for such creativity."
The Ministry of Electricity and Water (MEW), displayed solar grids and demonstrated its use, and spoke of how it fosters an environment-friendly attitude and habits in youngsters and kids through its awareness campaigns and interactive booklets.
"A lot of activities have been conducted in Kuwait through the past Earth Hour observances at places such as Abraaj and Olympia. Since MEW completed a feasibility study to apply solar PV at 25 locations of MEW ground water reservoirs, Kuwait Foundation for the Advancement of Science (KFAS), with Kuwait Institute for Scientific Research (KISR), modeled a project to generate solar electricity in 150 houses," revealed Public Relation Officer at Water Resource Development Center, Eng. Khadija Abdulredah Mishari.
"In a part of Shuhada area and in Janoub Surra walking area, the lampposts run through the solar grids attached on top of them," she added.
Kuwait Student Branch of the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE), a global society focusing on sustainable technology for the built environment, presented vases of flowers, which the participants could design and decorate at the Earth Hour event and take them back home to plant.
AIESEC, a global youth network, showcased their environment-friendly merchandise such as a vase holder made of a metal hanger, a reused empty-bulb recreated to a new version flower vase, and environment-friendly to-do messages; to do and pass on. They also featured AIESEC's environmental youth exchange programs to five countries, in which people could get involved in cross-cultural global internship and volunteer exchange experiences across the globe.
N2 Cream, sold ice-creams and gelatos made of liquid nitrogen added to the cream or gelato, to the advantage of using liquid nitrogen over an electric machine because "it gets you the fastest ice-cream," said the seller while adding a cup of bubbling liquid nitrogen to his mixing bowl.
A video played at the tower, on Earth Hour observances around the world, showcased some of the landmark achievements through the event. While singer Mohammed Al Sarraf presented THECONCERTKW, local band Karrouhat tuned in the audience to reggae music. Artists Abdullah Bukhamseen and Yousef Al Saleh showed their support for the Earth Hour by turning their graffiti wall, in minutes, to a design based on saving earth, by using "eco-friendly and less toxic spray-paints".