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Never heard of Earth Hour? Just turn off the lights Saturday

March 25, 2011|By Mary Forgione | Los Angeles Times Daily Travel & Deal blogger
  • Earth Hour co-founder and executive director Andy Ridley.
Earth Hour co-founder and executive director Andy Ridley. (Torsten Blackwood / AFP…)

Get ready to fade to black. Millions of people around the world are expected to turn off their lights at 8:30 p.m. local time Saturday -- no matter what time zone they're  in -- to observe Earth Hour. Never heard of it? It was started in 2007 by the WWF conservation organization to make a statement about energy overuse and how it affects the planet.

Times Square, the Golden Gate Bridge, the Las Vegas Strip, Niagara Falls, the Opera House in Sydney, and many more landmarks around the world plan to douse the lights, according to Earth Hour's website.

In Southern California, the Queen Mary will blast its horn at 8:30 p.m. to indicate the beginning of Earth Hour. Then the Long Beach landmark will turn off lights on its smokestacks, the string of lights atop the ship and other areas as well as encourage guests staying in staterooms to do likewise.

The free event from 7 to 9 p.m. on the ship's Verandah Grill will include a mix of other activities, from an "Unplugged" musical performance to a video about some of the ship's uniforms made from recycled bottles. Check out the Queen Mary's website to RSVP (even though it's free).

The nearby Hotel Maya at 700 Queensway Drive in Long Beach plans to dim its lights throughout the property and offer candlelight dining at its restaurant Fuego  -- with special drinks created for the occasion.

To read more about eco-tourism, check out the Times' green travel destination page.

And wherever you wind up during Earth Hour, don't leave the lights on at home.

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