Residents in 20 cities throughout Israel were encouraged to turn off their
lights for 60 minutes on Thursday night to mark international Earth Hour, an
environmental event initiated in Sydney, Australia four years ago.
Hour is an opportunity to center the attention on saving the environment, the
natural resources and the quality of our life,” said Hillel Fertouk, the Tel
Aviv-Jaffa Municipality spokesman.
While Israel marked the hour on
Thursday, most of the world will do so this Saturday at 8:30 p.m. local
The 20 cities began their hour-long lights-out periods at
consecutive 10-minute intervals beginning at 8 p.m., with Tel Aviv-Jaffa,
Yeroham and Modi’in- Maccabim-Reut, followed by Jerusalem and Dimona at 8:10
p.m.; Petah Tikva, Ness Ziona and Ra’anana at 8:20; Netanya, Rehovot, Arad,
Eilat and Yavneh at 8:30; Ashdod, Givatayim, Herzliya and Bat Yam at 8:40; and
Holon, Haifa and Yokne’am at 8:50 p.m.
The Israel Electric Corp. said
that it would show online afterwards whether the cities had successfully reduced
their typical energy usage for that hour, according to Ilan Arnon, IEC North
Tel Aviv was supposed to have a huge event in Rabin
Square, featuring shows by musicians Carolina, Red Band and Giraffe, as well as
a speech by Mayor Ron Huldai, but the event was canceled at the last minute due
to heavy rain. The energy necessary for the performances was supposed to be
generated by cyclists peddling and biodiesel fuel obtained from used falafel
Also slated for the canceled event was “a dance floor that creates
electricity,” according to Lisbeth Biger, who was instrumental in designing said
stage with her husband, Eyal Biger, head of Good Energy
Underneath the dance floor are copper circuits that produce
electricity by interacting with magnetic dancing shoes specially created by
Lisbeth. She had put together 34 pairs of shoes, inserting magnets between
plastic pieces and attached Velcro as straps, she said.
Yeroham’s Earth Hour, 3,000 students received energy-saving light bulbs to
distribute to their family members, after learning about how to save energy,
said Amir Seged, director of Yeroham’ Education Department.
the town will offer a continuing education class on environment and the Bible
for adults, as well as a project where children can create art from plastic
bottles, he said.
In Eilat, one unique event that occurred during the
lights-out period was the kindling of Leviathan Energy’s brand new Tulip wind
turbine on the roof of the Hilton Hotel.
“One of the nice things about it
is that it’s meant to be beautiful as well as effective,” said Dr. Daniel
Farb, CEO of Leviathan Energy Renewables, Ltd., prior to the
Shaped like its floral namesake, the Tulip is smaller and more
solid than the typical wind turbine and was designed aerodynamically to be very
low in noise and vibration, Farb said.
The machine creates very low
turbulence, is easily visible to birds in flight and is “very friendly for the
Israeli environment,” according to Farb.
One reason Leviathan chose Eilat
for the launch was because of its forceful winds – which he calls “one of the
best” in Israel.
“There’s a very good wind that comes through the Arava
valley,” he said. “Most people are aware it’s a good area for sun, but most
aren’t aware that’s it’s good for wind.”