Our Story, By Us
< Current local time in Suriname – Paramaribo
PARAMARIBO–With two days to go before Suriname turns off its lights in support of Earth Hour, Odette Miranda of Chetskeys –the media production company hired to promote the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) global initiative in Suriname- was excited. “I was excited from when we got this account, but now the climax is really drawing near,” she said on Thursday. She looked forward to driving around on Saturday night, to witness firsthand how many people are really willing to be in darkness for the earth, for a whole hour starting 8.30pm.
It is the first time Suriname rolls out Earth Hour, an initiative WWF started in 2007 in Sydney, Australia when 2.2 million individuals and more than 2,000 businesses turned their lights off for one hour to take a stand against climate change. Only a year later and Earth Hour had become a global sustainability movement with more than 50 million people across 35 countries/territories participating. Global landmarks such as the Sydney Harbour Bridge, CN Tower in Toronto, Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, and Rome’s Colosseum, all stood in darkness, as symbols of hope for a cause that grows more urgent by the hour.
Miranda said it would be great if Suriname’s Government turned off the spotlights that shine on the Presidential Palace at night, during Earth Hour. “But even greater would be if people would start being more aware of the unnecessary waste of energy and turn off lights, use less water in the house and observe other measures that will help preserve our planet,” she said. She said she was in talks with electricity company EBS, to gauge how much power is saved during the Earth Hour Saturday. “It would be nice if we can find that out,” the vibrant advertising executive said.
Since Suriname launched the initiative with the unveiling of a billboard earlier this month, it has gotten much support from the authorities. Environment Minister Ginmardo Kromosoeto has said that his house will be in darkness Saturday night and President Desi Bouterse will likely also make a similar statement that will be broadcast on Friday and Saturday night. “That is so exciting!; that the highest authority of the country comes out in support of this laudable global initiative will help to show the people of the country how important this is,” said Miranda.
She said she noticed that people lack awareness on the subject of preserving the environmental. “Some people have trouble grasping the concept of Earth Hour, which is why the President’s support is so important,” she said, adding: “at least all children that our Promo Teams make presentations to when they visit the schools as part of this initiative, as excited.”
This, she said, creates hope that Earth Hour Suriname would grow to be a phenomenon in its own right. All avenues are used to spread the word; Earth Hour Suriname already has its own Facebook page. “We got big plans for the future. We’re thinking of turning this into a manifestation, during which people get together in the dark of the Earth Hour. But first let’s see if everyone in Suriname turns off their lights … including the people who are in charge of the Presidential Palace.”