Southern California environment news and trends

Will you turn off for Earth Hour 2012?

Candle

Armin Vogel/Flickr (Creative Commons-licensed)

Before we head into the Earth Month of April, March 31 marks the sixth annual Earth Hour. This year, a record number of countries — 147 — will participate with hundreds of landmarks going dark for one hour starting 8:30 p.m. local time to raise awareness for environmental and sustainability issues. 

Starting in 2007 as a one-city initiative in Sydney, Australia, Earth Hour has quickly expanded to become the world’s largest voluntary action for the environment. This year, model and Victoria’s Secret Angel Miranda Kerr is Earth Hour’s global ambassador, alongside an impressive list of supporters that includes Hilton hotels, the National Hockey League, Girl Scouts of America, Al Gore and Universal Pictures with our buddy, the Lorax. He’ll be turning his moustache green to mark the occasion. Really.  

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Vive l'environnement! The plan to turn the Eiffel Tower green

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There are few monuments in the world as recognizable or popular as Paris’ Eiffel Tower.

French urban planning consultancy Ginger wants to capitalize on that notoriety to make a really, really big environmental statement. The plans, leaked to the public by France’s Le Figaro newspaper, detail how to cover the Tower with upwards of 600,000 plants in soil-filled hemp sacks and an ambitious irrigation system to create the world’s largest vertical garden.  

While the cost of the project clocks in at a cool $97 million, the upside is just as great: the wall of vegetation would remove an estimated 87.8 tons of CO2 from the atmosphere, making it a “green lung” for the city.

“Our objective is to enhance the structure, not ruin it.” Ginger said in a statement. “We want to turn an emblem of the industrial past into a beacon of the sustainable future… "Should it not be the duty of engineers to imagine a new future where nature is brought back into the heart of the city?”

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