Don't freak out when the lights go off tomorrow—it's just Earth Hour

The Empire State Building, Times Square and other landmarks will go dark tomorrow night to mark Earth Hour

Are you the kind of person that pauses a movie and leaves all the lights in your apartment on while you run out to get a pint of ice cream? On top of racking up your Con Ed bill, you're wasting oodles of Joules (that's a unit of energy), which contributes to melting ice caps and rising sea levels. And if you think that doesn't affect you, think again: some parts of lower Manhattan are less than five feet above sea level.

To raise awareness about the need for conservation, New York will join 7000 other cities tomorrow night and dim the lights at its major landmarks for one hour—so don't panic when the Empire State Building and major billboards in Times Square flip the switch. It's all part of Earth Hour, which started in Sydney, Australia in 2007 when more than 2 million individuals and 2,000 businesses turned off their lights to show their commitment to the environment. This year, more than 158 countries are taking part, darkening iconic attractions like the Pyramids in Giza, the Christ the Redeemer statue in Rio de Janeiro, the Eiffel Tower in Paris and even the Vegas strip.

Tag your own photos of the event by using the hashtag #EarthHour and you might see them among our favorite darkened NYC photos next week. Alternatively, you could just plan a romantic night in: We can think of at least one way to spend a candlelit hour at home.

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Editor: Marley Lynch (@marleyasinbob)

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