Buildings across the country will turn out their lights on Saturday in support of the World Wildlife Fund’s annual Earth Hour.
From 8:30-9:30 p.m. local time, participating individuals and businesses will darken their homes and storefronts to raise awareness of environmental sustainability issues.
Notable landmarks including the Washington National Cathedral, the Baltimore National Aquarium, the Brooklyn Bridge, the Empire State Building, and the Staples Center in Los Angeles will take part in the event.
Not to be outdone, the Washington Capitals announced that during the team's home game against the Montreal Canadiens on Saturday, the Verizon Center press box will have its lights turned off at 8:30 p.m. and will keep them off for one hour. All NHL arenas are expected to participate.
This year’s Earth Hour marks the beginning of the World Wildlife Fund’s new initiative, the Earth Hour City Challenge, which will be announced publicly on Saturday in Tucson, Ariz., just before Earth Hour begins.
At the end of the yearlong competition, an international jury will select one U.S. city as “The Earth Hour City Capital” for 2013, according to the World Wildlife Fund website.
Two to five other cities will be selected by the World Wildlife fund to receive between $30,000 and $100,000 in “public participation grants.”
These grants will go toward supporting events seeking to engage citizens in city plans to prepare for what the World Wildlife Fund calls, "costly impacts of climate-related extreme weather."
The organization lists D.C. as "increasingly at risk from flooding and sea level rise."
In addition, the World Wildlife Fund wants to spread the word through social media.
Supporters can "dare the world to save the planet" on YouTube, Facebook and Twitter by creating challenges that encourage environmentally friendly actions. Promises are made in exchange for having a certain number of people accept the challenge.
According to the World Wildlife Fund, since the start of the first Earth Hour in 2007, more than 1.8 billion people across every continent have participated.