Canadians will 'switch off' then 'strip-off' for Earth Hour



    
    - Survey reveals the Top 5 things Canadians will be doing in the dark on
      March 29

    - 70% of Canadians say they will take part in Earth Hour
    

    TORONTO, March 20 /CNW/ - Along with star gazing, throwing a party and
chilling in the dark, Canadians will also be getting down to their "bare
necessities" on March 29 according to a Virgin Mobile survey.
    Earth Hour is a global lights-out initiative, coordinated by the WWF,
that's encouraging people from all over the world to turn off their lights for
one hour at 8 p.m. on March 29 to show their support for action on climate
change. More than 15 major cities worldwide are already participating
including Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver, Sydney, San Francisco, Atlanta,
Chicago, Bangkok, Melbourne and Copenhagen.
    Virgin Mobile asked Canadians across the country what they'll be getting
up to on March 29 at 8 p.m. as the world around them goes dark. Here's the top
five rundown:

    
    1. Star gazing - A quarter of Canadians are going to be gazing up at the
       sky at night on March 29 to catch those comets - let's hope it's a
       nice clear night!

    2. Sitting in the dark - Yes, it's true. Canadians aren't afraid of the
       dark. In fact, 2 out of 10 Canadians are cool with just taking it easy
       and hanging out in the dark on March 29.

    3. Getting busy - No big surprise here. The lights are off, it's dark and
       one thing leads to another... the third favourite thing Canadians will
       be doing on March 29 will be "getting close" with someone special. We
       will leave the rest up to your imagination.

    4. Snnnooozinnn - Atlantic Canadians are the most hard-core sleepers,
       with nearly 20% of Atlantic Canadians ready to have a snooze at 8 p.m.
       on March 29.

    5. Hard at work - Let's not forget the thousands of Canadians who will be
       hard at work during Earth Hour. Typing out memos in the dark. Flipping
       burgers in the dark. Performing open-heart surgery...in the dark.

    Here are few other facts about Earth Hour:

    We're on board!   70% of Canadians surveyed said they will take part in
                      Earth Hour this year with the women leading the way
                      with 76% getting ready to have some fun in the dark.

    We're changing    More than 50% of Canadians surveyed said Earth Hour has
    behaviour!        made them more conscious to save energy and go green in
                      the future. Hooray!

    We're making      People are ready to put on some political pressure. A
    our voices        whopping 85% of Canadians surveyed said the Federal
    heard!            Government should do more to reduce Canada's carbon
                      emissions.
    

    "All around the world, Virgin is passionate about inspiring people to
take action against climate change," said Sir Richard Branson, chairman of the
Virgin Group and founder of Virgin Mobile Canada. "Earth Hour is a perfect
example of taking a worthwhile cause and in real Virgin style, turning it into
a party with a purpose. We always look for fresh, unexpected ways to get
people involved, just like Earth Hour. The results of this survey prove that
Canadians are excited and ready to tackle climate change, make a difference
and have some fun doing it."

    How to take part in Earth Hour

    Getting involved in Earth Hour is easy: commit to turning off your lights
for an hour at 8 p.m. on March 29 and help spread the word. Sign up and get
all the details at http://www.wwf.ca/EarthHour.
    WWF (World Wildlife Fund) and Virgin Mobile are also encouraging all
broadcast media to hold a lights-out broadcast in the run up to Earth Hour.
For a lights-out broadcast pack (limited stock) please contact
chris.baines@virginmobile.ca.

    Earth Hour Unplugged

    On March 29 at Nathan Phillips Square, Toronto, multi-platinum Grammy and
Juno Award-winning Canadian superstar Nelly Furtado will perform a free
concert, brought to you lovingly by Virgin Mobile and WWF to celebrate Earth
Hour.
    As an Earth Hour Ambassador and an advocate for the environment, Nelly
will play an unplugged free concert at the Earth Hour community event,
starting at 7:30 p.m. - come rain or shine! The low-power event will be
carbon-neutral and the minimal power used will be green, renewable energy
supplied by Bullfrog Power. Everyone is invited to attend, so make sure to get
there early if you want a good view!

    The details on the Virgin Mobile Earth Hour Survey

    In March 2008, Angus Reid Strategies ran an online survey with a randomly
selected, representative sample of 1,023 adult Canadians. The margin of error
for the total sample is +/- 3.0%, 19 times out of 20. The results have been
statistically weighted according to Statistics Canada's most current
education, age, gender and region Census data to ensure a representative
sample of the entire adult population of Canada.
    Angus Reid Strategies polls are conducted using the Angus Reid Forum
online panel (www.angusreidforum.com), which is recruited via an
industry-leading process that incorporates a randomized, widespread invitation
approach and a triple opt-in screening procedure. The panel is maintained
through state-of-the-art sampling techniques and frequent verifications of
personal identity, contact information, and demographic characteristics.

    
    Materials available

    1. Richard Branson Earth Hour PSA MPEG available - preview at
       http://www.wwf.ca/EarthHour/ or
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XhraQ5Rv5u0

    2. Nelly Furtado Earth Hour PSA MPEG available - preview at
       http://www.wwf.ca/EarthHour/ or
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6GKb5a673b8%20

    3. Earth Hour PSA - watch at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mxu3MluKl8A%20

    4. Earth Hour summary available at http://www.wwf.ca/EarthHour/

    5. Earth Hour logo - http://www.wwf.ca/EarthHour/
    

    About Virgin Mobile Canada

    The Virgin Mobile group of companies has attracted more than 10 million
customers worldwide. As the No.1 mobile youth network, Virgin Mobile Canada's
mission is to connect, entertain and reward like nobody else. Its simpler,
better deals offer customers control, flexibility and choice to design mobile
packages that truly work for them. J.D. Power and Associates ranked Virgin
Mobile highest in customer satisfaction with prepaid wireless service for
three years in a row(1), 91% of customers would recommend Virgin Mobile to a
friend, and a 2007 independent survey confirmed that Virgin Mobile has the
happiest customers of any of the national cell phone companies in Canada.
    Virgin Mobile phones are available at more than 4,000 locations with
top-up cards available at more than 10,000 locations nationally. Virgin Mobile
products can also be purchased online at http://www.virginmobile.ca or by
calling 1-888-999-2321.

    About WWF-Canada

    Founded in 1967, WWF-Canada has become one of the country's leading
conservation organizations, enjoying the active support of more than 100,000
Canadians. WWF-Canada works to save nature by conserving species and
protecting their habitats; by ensuring our use of natural resources is
sustainable, and by helping individuals, companies and governments reduce
pollution. For more information, visit http://wwf.ca.

    
    (1) J.D. Power and Associates 2007 Canadian Wireless Customer
        Satisfaction Study(SM). The 2007 Canadian Wireless Customer
        Satisfaction Study is based on responses from nearly 6,000 mobile
        phone users. Respondents were surveyed in September 2007.
        jdpower.com.
    





For further information:

For further information: Erica Faltous, Hill & Knowlton Canada, (416)
413-4695, (416) 655-8221, erica.faltous@hillandknowlton.ca; Chris Baines,
Virgin Mobile Canada, (416) 607-8412, (647) 378-8859,
chris.baines@virginmobile.ca

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