Turn off your lights and spend a candle night in Osaka

How do you get thousands of people to turn off their lights and use less electricity? Since 2003, a small group of people in Japan have managed to do just that through the Candle Night events. Some 3,000,000 kilowatts of energy were saved during last year's event as over 60,000 facilities participated in the nation-wide campaign, with support from Japan's Ministry of the Environment.The campaign kicked off again last night in Osaka at the Hilton Plaza, with a Twinkle Love-Live concert, lectures and games for children around the city.

"Time has passed since the first Candle Night, and the reactions from people have changed," notes Miyako Maekita at Sustena, one of the promoters of Candle Night. "I feel like saying we are frontrunners of the age... All of our power converges and it can send a message to people."


Many small towns are also using the Candle Night concept to promote local awareness-raising activities. We liked the way Candle Night got brand shops at Omotesando Hills on a major shopping street in Tokyo to turn off and reduce lights last year, instead using LEDs along their 250 m long wall. And we loved the way the illumination at both Tokyo Tower in Japan and Seoul Tower in South Korea were switched off at the same time on June 24, 2007.

"We could change the world by stepping out of our daily lives just for two hours on the summer solstice," said Park Eun Jin of Korean Women's Environmental Network (KWEN).

Friends of the Earth (FoE) Hong Kong will hold Lights Out events, "Dim It" on the evening of the summer solstice, June 21, 2008. Many cities, like Beijing and Guangzhou from the mainland, Taipei, Hsinchu, Taichung, Tainan and Kaishong from Taiwan will join the events. For details, please visit the Lightsout website.

(Photos from Tangible Earth, a project to illustrate global events such as climate change or how whales migrate in the oceans, initiated by Shinichi Takemura at Kyoto University of Art & Design. Videos here.)

Brought to you by Martin J Frid of greenz.jp

Related Content on Treehugger.com