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Hotels and restaurants across the UK will plunge guests into candlelight when they offer the chance to join the largest global celebration of the planet at 8.30pm on 25th March at the culmination of a month-long industry campaign to reduce energy use.
Mystery menus, menus crafted only from local ingredients, menus prepared without energy and mouth-watering specially created cocktails are just some of the ways in which restaurants are turning their candlelight dinners into an extra special occasion to mark the tenth WWF Earth Hour.
In the UK all of the restaurants in the Red Carnation hotel group are participating.
Earth Hour 2017 comes at the end of the Sustainable Restaurant Association’s (SRA) campaign throughout March, pressing the industry to reduce energy use, thereby making significant financial savings – a 20% cut in energy costs can represent the same bottom line benefit as a 5% increase in sales – and preserve valuable natural resources. It’s the third time the SRA has partnered with WWF for Earth Hour.
UK restaurants are responsible for higher carbon emissions than the whole of Costa Rica – 8 million tonnes - according to a 2015 report by energy company E.ON. The same report said that three quarters of restaurateurs did not have the tools to make positive changes.
Andrew Stephen, Chief Executive of the SRA, said, “As a whole, the hospitality and foodservice sector uses energy like there is no tomorrow. Even those with the best intentions often don’t know how to change their wasteful behaviour. By hosting a month-long conversation the SRA aims to give the best in the business the chance to shine a light on their gold standard practice, inspiring those who are still in the dark to make positive change.
“Earth Hour will then provide restaurants with the perfect opportunity to extend the conversation to their customers, and demonstrate that a good restaurant doesn’t waste natural resources.”
Restaurants in all Red Carnation Hotels will be serving guests candlelit dinners for the fifth time. The group has developed a range of innovative ways to engage guests, like leaving invitations on their pillows to a candlelit dinner as well as creating special cocktails and one-off menus.
After participating in last year’s event Arbor Restaurant at The Green House Hotel in Bournemouth, three-time winner of the Food Made Good Award for Environment, and a former Green Hotelier Award winner found its customers eager to know more about its ethos and said everyone enjoyed the atmosphere so much they kept the lights off all evening. General Manager Louise Chapman said, “It really helped raise awareness of what we do with guests. Lots of them wanted to know more about our sustainability initiatives and it was great to participate in a global event.”
2016 was the hottest year on record and a new high for the third year in a row. This year is Earth Hour’s 10th anniversary and UK landmarks, such as Big Ben, the London Eye, and the Palace of Holyrood have already signed-up to join the switch off.
Earth Hour is the world’s biggest environmental event – every year millions of people take part worldwide and last year in the UK, over 9 million people took part alongside over 1000 business and organisations as well as 4600 schools.
Hotels around the world can find out more at the Earth Hour website and switch their lights for an hour at 8.30pm local time.