From 8:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. on Saturday, local businesses will turn off the lights for the annual Earth Hour event to promote environmental sustainability.

Earth Hour is a worldwide event intended to show a world that could be – one where electricity is saved. Put on by the WWF, the event involves turning off any unnecessary lights to promote less wasteful electricity use. In Orlando, the lights of the fountain at Lake Eola and See Art Orlando sculptures will be turned off, as well as the lights on other city-owned buildings. Several local businesses also plan to turn off any non-essential lights.

Cassandra Lafser, press secretary for Mayor Buddy Dyer’s office, said Earth Hour is a prelude to Earth Month and the city’s “Spring into Sustainability” program that will last into April. During Earth Month, the city will further promote recycling, living green and more environmental sustainability options in Orlando.

But it starts with Earth Hour, Lafser said.

“This is a way to keep our usual reputation of sustainability,” she said. “It’s the little things that we can all do that have a big impact.”

Of the many businesses that will participate in Earth Hour, Aloft Orlando Downtown will turn off its outside lights, according to Director of Sales Geo Cuevas.

“We try anything we can to participate in sustainability efforts,” she said. “We’re a hotel, so we can’t shut down the power for the property, but we do have lights that shine outside. We’ll shut down those lights for that hour.”

She said the hotel also gives staff reminders to shut off non-essential lights at home, too.

“If they’re reading, we’re not telling them they have to shut the light off,” she said. “They can keep reading, but any extra lights they can turn off.”

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