This Saturday night, hundreds of millions of people will join the global phenomenon by switching off their lights for one hour to signal they care about the environment. On Fraser Island it won’t quite be a case of all lights out, but power usage will certainly be dimmed and trimmed at Kingfisher Bay Resort from 8.30pm.
Resort General Manager, Warwick Kahl, said Kingfisher Bay Resort’s participation in Earth Hour was in keeping with the company’s eco philosophy to foster environmental understanding, appreciation and conservation.
“In the lead up Earth Hour, the resort will be inviting staff and guests to participate by switching off unnecessary lights and air-conditioning in their rooms,” he said. “And we will follow their lead by shutting down non-essential lighting in our Centre Complex and resort grounds for the hour.”
In addition to participating in Earth Hour, the resort already has strategies in place to manage and reduce energy consumption; is an accredited Green Leader with Eco Tourism Australia; is a member of the Mercure Meetings Carbon Neutral Conference Program; runs an onsite recycling plant; and has recently introduced a Conservation Credit scheme to reduce their carbon footprint.
Mr Kahl said energy conservation was integral to the architectural design of the buildings, which used natural convection currents to warm and cool the main resort complex area thus minimising the need for air conditioning.
In summer, windows and vents at the resort are kept open to generate the induction of cool air from the lower level of the main building and expel warmer air through loft vents. In winter, windows and vents are closed and create a glasshouse effect trapping warm air inside the building.
The design saves in excess of 480,000 kW hours of electricity per year.
An active energy efficiency program was also incorporated in the design of the resort including an automatic power shut-off system when the key is removed from the slot in hotel rooms – setting best practice standards for its time.
In addition, the use of low energy fluorescent bulbs in rooms, landscape and street lighting utilises less than 15% of the power required by conventional lighting, saving 375,000 kW hours of electricity per year.
“It’s the simple things like switching off power during Earth Hour that reduce energy but, more importantly, raise public awareness and that’s what makes all the difference,” Mr Kahl said.
Last year, more than 6,950* cities and towns in 152 countries and territories switched off their lights for Earth Hour. In Australia alone, over 7 million people participated in 150 towns and cities across the country.
*Figures quoted in this release have been obtained from the official Earth Hour website - earthhour.org.au.