We recently ran into Nate Tyler, founder of Lights Out San Francisco, a grass-roots organization that’s trying to get the city of San Francisco to turn off all non-essential lighting for an hour on Oct. 20. Tyler, who was passing out flyers at the Treasure Island music festival on Sunday, was excited to tell us that the non-essential lights on the Golden Gate Bridge (on the main towers) will also be turned off for the event’s blackout hour of 8 p.m to 9 p.m — That’ll make a buzz-worthy image for San Francisco energy conservation.
City Hall, Golden Gate National Parks, and Alcatraz Island will also participate, and the San Francisco Restaurant Association will organize candlelight dinners.
The organization estimates that turning lights out in SF for an hour could save as much as 10 percent of the energy consumed on an average Saturday night. So it’s not necessarily about the direct energy savings, but more of a move to promote awareness. Lights Out SF is also distributing free compact fluorescent light bulbs as part of the project, of which thousands were donated by PG&E (PCG) and Yahoo (YHOO).
Tyler got the idea from an event in Sydney, Australia called Earth Hour, where 2.2 million people turned off their lights for one hour and prevented 24.86 tons of carbon dioxide from being released into the air. After San Francisco, he wants to take it nationwide. The organization also issued a press release today, announcing their event, and included a nice plug from the SF Mayor. San Franciscans, put the date on your calendars and get ready to turn ‘em off!