In 2010, Chicago was one of the 128 countries and territories to participate in Earth Hour. The next year, they joined 135 countries and were challenged to go beyond an hour.
Buildings, institutions and landmarks across Chicago are preparing up to participate in this year's Earth Hour Saturday night by turning off their lights.
“Earth Hour shows our commitment to being environmentally proactive and working with the business community to promote sustainable practices and foster economic opportunity throughout the city," said Mayor Rahm Emanuel.
Earth Hour is a global event started by the World Wildlife Fund in 2007. The event encourages individuals, businesses and governments to show their support towards protecting the planet by shutting off lights for one designated hour.
In Chicago that hour is 8:30 - 9:30 p.m. Saturday night.
The city of Chicago will be turning off their nonessential lights in City Hall, the Cultural Center, Public Safety Headquarters, and additional city facilities, according to a release from the mayor's office.
Chicago Department of Aviation announced Friday their non-essential lighting in terminals, airport facilities and office buildings will be turned off at both Midway and O'Hare.
"Aside from a bit of mood lighting for airport travelers and employees, both airports will operate normally during the 60-minute period," the CDA stated on their website.
Officials representing local government agencies, ComEd and the Cubs will turn off the historic marquee on Saturday night with a ceremonial light switch at 8:30 p.m.
“Earth Hour is a great example of how a simple event like turning off the Wrigley Field marquee can start a conversation about conservation and inspire people to bring change,” said Mike Lufrano, Cubs executive vice president, community affairs about their fifth year participating in the worldwide event.
Other recognizable Chicago buildings participating in Earth Hour Illinois include Chase Tower, the Thompson Center, and Willis Tower. In Springfield, the Capitol Building and the Governor’s Mansion will go dark for the hour.
In the Chicagoland area, dozens of municipalities throughout the region are committed to going dark during Earth Hour Illinois. Communities making the pledge include Batavia, Buffalo Grove, Dekalb, Highland Park, Lisle, Lockport, Lombard, Mount Prospect, Niles, Roselle, and Wilmette.