This Saturday, March 26, Cook County buildings will go dark from 8:30 – 9:30 p.m. in observance of Earth Hour, a global movement held annually to raise awareness for climate change. The County’s Department of Environment and Sustainability and Department of Facilities Management within the Bureau of Asset Management encourage residents to participate by switching lights off for one hour this weekend.
Using less lighting will help save energy and reduce harmful greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Emergency lighting and all lighting necessary for public safety will remain on during this period.
“Cook County residents play an important role in reducing our carbon footprint and fighting climate change,” said Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle. “As the second largest county in the United States, every single step we can take to ensure future generations have a healthy environment to grow up in counts.”
The following 11 County buildings are participating in Earth Hour:
- Cook County Building, 118 N. Clark St., Chicago
- Dunne Administration Building, 69 W. Washington St., Chicago
- Juvenile Temporary Detention Center (court building only), 1100 S. Hamilton Ave., Chicago
- Domestic Violence Courthouse, 555 W. Harrison St., Chicago
- Cook County Courthouse in Rolling Meadows, 2121 Euclid Ave., Rolling Meadows
- Cook County Courthouse in Skokie, 5600 Old Orchard Rd., Skokie
- Cook County Courthouse in Maywood, 1500 Maybrook Dr., Maywood
- Cook County Courthouse in Bridgeview, 10220 S. 76th Ave., Bridgeview
- Cook County Courthouse in Markham, 16501 Kedzie Ave., Markham
- Leighton Criminal Court Building, 2650 S. California Ave., Chicago
- Criminal Courts Administration Building, 2650 S. California Ave., Chicago
Cook County released its Clean Energy Plan for County-owned facilities in July 2020. The plan outlines the path to achieve a 45% reduction in carbon emissions, using 100% renewable electricity by 2030 and making County-owned facilities carbon neutral by 2050. The County has already reduced GHG emissions from its facilities by 40% since 2010.
President Preckwinkle has made sustainability and green practices a priority in her administration. In 2021, Cook County was awarded a National Association of Counties Achievement Award for the Cook County Clean Energy Plan.
Earth Hour is organized by the World Wide Fund for Nature to encourage communities, households, businesses and municipalities to turn off their non-essential lights for one hour as a symbol of their commitment to climate action. For more information, visit www.earthhour.org.