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Beyond Earth Hour

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As people across the globe switched off their lights for Earth Hour, some very special awards were given to those going ‘beyond the hour’.

Earth-hour-awards

Young Panda Award & People’s Choice Award: Immie and Freya Wadlow, NSW. The Wadlow twins have been spending time on sustainability related projects for the past seven years, even setting up their own sustainability website. In their videos they share tips on how to reduce your individual footprint.

Credit: Marianna Massey, Getty Images

Beaconsfield State School

Education Award: Beaconsfield State School, QLD. This school is working to protect the Great Barrier Reef through their actions on the land including replanting vegetation, protecting turtle nesting beaches and making reusable shopping bags.

EC3

Sustainable Small Business Award: EC3 Global, QLD. EC3 Global reduces the environmental impact of the tourism sector. The small business measures, compares, and improves the environmental impact had by tourism operators internationally in countries such as Mexico, Iceland, New Zealand, Australia, and Indonesia.

SYM

Eco-Blogger Award: Speak Your Mind, VIC. Speak Your Mind is an ambitious multi-media initiative led by a team of young environmentalists across four continents with the aim of exploring international environmental negotiations. They have provided independent analysis of international environment negotiations.

Credit: Marianna Massey, Getty Images

Cecelia Peter and Mabel Kendall from Pormpuraaw with their ghost net mats.

Creative Arts Award: Ghost Net Art Project, QLD. GNA’s Ghost Net Art Project sponsors workshops facilitated by contemporary artists with a view to engaging Indigenous community members to create art, craft and functional pieces made from abandoned fishing nets. Works that are produced are marketed through various galleries, providing income for artists while increasing public awareness of the ghost net menace.

Credit: Northern Gulf News.

Solar Sailor

Futuremakers Awards: Solarsailor. Led by Dr. Robert Dane, SolarSailor utilises the most abundant sources of energy on the sea, wind and solar, to create renewable energy powered vessels. The company has created renewable energy powered ferries for Sydney, Hong Kong, and Shanghai, and is currently involved in the development of innovative projects including the powering of bulk cargo ships and drones on renewable energy.

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With record number of well over one billion of people 150 countries participating in Earth Hour 2012, it's clear that the message of the power of individual actions is adding up. But how about those whose efforts extend beyond the Hour, who have shown dedicated commitment to creating a better world?

The Earth Hour Awards celebrate and recognise Australians working towards a more sustainable future. Presented by world Wildlife Fund (WWF) Australia CEO Dermot O’Gorman and the Lord Mayor of Sydney, Clover Moore, the awards ceremony at Sydney Opera House on Saturday included speeches from Peter Garret, MP, and Todd Sampson, co-founder of Earth Hour and CEO of Leo Burnett.

“The WWF Earth Awards recognise the inspiring environmental contributions of these remarkable Australians,” said Dermot O’Gorman. “When you consider the profound challenges the planet is facing it can occasionally seem overwhelming but here we have individuals taking action every day of the year to ensure a better future for our planet."

“We received over 100 entries this year and the quality was astounding. That made it a tough judging
process but ultimately it was fantastic to see so many people, young and old, working towards a better
future for our planet,” said O’Gorman.

One of the co-winners of the Eco Blogger Award, Linh Do from Speak Your Mind (SYM), said that "we were really honoured but also surprised to have been nominated for the Eco Blogger award, let alone to actually win it!".

"It was a great sense of recognition though given that we're trying to be different to a traditional blog too. We really hope that we'll be able to build upon our current success and continue with international delegations to Rio and Doha but, also to have a number of Australian based partners," says Do.

Flick through the image gallery on the right to see photos from alll of the winners in each category.

G is celebrating those making their noteworthy mark in the green sector in a different way. Vote now in the G Green Lifestyle Awards for your favourite green lifestyle businesses, products and services.