Posted at 12:16 PM ET, 03/25/2011

Earth Hour: Turn off the lights, turn on the smartphone?

Five years ago, in Sydney, Australia, the first official Earth Hour was observed when 2.2 million Sydney residents and 2,100 businesses shut off their electricity for an hour. Conceived as a way to bring awareness about rising temperatures and climate change, the hour has turned into a worldwide phenomenon, with major monuments turning off their lights and 128 countries participating last year. It’s also a good excuse to break out the candles and have a little detox from our technologically overwrought world. It commences Saturday night at 8:30 p.m.

This year, though, technology wants to invade Earth Hour. An iPhone app put out by the World Wildlife Fund offers up a flickering candle on your smartphone screen that will glow for the one hour and is “zero-emission,” compared to a regular candle. (Though, of course, electricity will be necessary to recharge the phone after the hour is up.) It promises on the Web page to be “the perfect accessory for a romantic dinner during Earth Hour.”

In my test run of the app, the flickering candle does not offer up enough light to let you see the table, let alone your romantic partner a foot in front of you. Of course, that may be the exact kind of conditions for romance to flourish in, but I’d recommend sticking with tried and true wicks and wax. Or opt for the flashlight app, so you’re not bumping into furniture the whole time.

And for some background music:

Happy Earth Hour!

Do you plan to participate in Earth Hour on Saturday? If so, tweet it out to the world and tell your friends.

By  |  12:16 PM ET, 03/25/2011

Tags:  Daily Catch

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