Last Saturday, several SM Malls in Bulacan were plunged into darkness at exactly 8:30 p.m. No, it wasn’t the beginning of the dreaded zombie apocalypse. Nor was it the work of terrorists who wanted to take over Marilao, San Jose Del Monte, Pulilan, and Baliwag. Instead, the whole thing was SM’s way of supporting Earth Hour 2018 and making people aware of the growing problem of climate change.
Now in its 11th year, Earth Hour encouraged people to #Connect 2Earth” and asked communities worldwide to care for the planet’s biodiversity and the environment. The movement hopes to inspire the populace to work for healthy forests, plastic-free oceans, wildlife conservation, and sustainable business.
Each mall in Bulacan came up with creative ways to celebrate the event. SM City San Jose del Monte, for instance, urged shoppers to recycle and reduce waste as it transformed hundreds of tin cans into lanterns. The tiny holes in the cans created colorful patterns of flowers, trees, animals, and sea life that reminded the audience of conservation. It also showed how simple things can help save the environment.
“Earth Hour should not just be a one-time, big time, once-a-year event. It should be done every hour every day,” said Assistant Mall Manager Arch Nelson Lopez.
SM City Marilao had a magic garden that mesmerized people with its solar-powered light installation made of bamboo, recycled cables, and light-emitting diode bulbs. The amazing use of this sustainable technology provided an imaginative way of promoting recycling and environmental protection. The blooms were complemented by four-foot solar powered dandelions. This allowed shoppers to enjoy the beauty of nature in a unique way.
Stewards of the Environment
“Our celebration of Earth Hour is more than an annual tradition of turning off the lights. It is also a platform where we hope people can understand their role as stewards of the environment” Mall Manager Bernadette Velasco said.
In SM City Baliwag, a 16-foot glow in the dark string art installation reminded the community of how things are interconnected. “Because all of us share one home and one planet, understanding interconnectedness is one of the keys to solving earth’s pressing challenges” according to Mall Manager Andrew Cristobal.
A mural of candles depicting Earth Hour and the World Wildlife Fund Logo was featured in SM Center Pulilan. People also showed their commitment to saving the planet through a Pledge for the Environment led by Assistant Mall Manager Apple De Leon.
On top of the hourly lights-off campaign every year, SM promotes energy efficiency and follows sustainable practices such as water conservation, solid waste management, and good air quality. Regular clean-up drives and Trash to Cash activities are likewise conducted to involve the community in saving the earth.