There's nothing Ashley Beck likes more than unwinding on a Saturday evening after a tough match by playing FIFA Football online against his Ospreys colleagues.
But on Saturday March 23, 24 hours after the Ospreys take on the Dragons at the Liberty Stadium, 22-year-old rugby star will be switching his PS3 off for 60 minutes from 8.30pm to take part in a worldwide event called Earth Hour.
It’s all part of the World Wildlife Fund’s annual campaign aimed at highlighting the importance of reducing energy consumption as part of the battle against climate change.
When in use, a games console like an X-Box or a PS3 uses about the same amount of power as three 60-watt light bulbs.
And Ashley said:
“You’ve only got to switch on the news or pick up a newspaper to see the impact that climate change is having across the world. As a professional rugby player I’ve been lucky enough to tour some fantastic countries, including Australia where record high temperatures led to intense bushfires just a few months ago.
“Many people think extreme weather like this and the hurricane that hit New York City late last year is linked to climate change, so this is why it’s important we raise awareness of what we can all do to help.
“I’ll be switching off my PS3 for an hour from 8.30pm on March 23, and I’d urge encourage children across Swansea to do the same thing – whether it’s turning off their games consoles, laptops, computers or televisions.”
Landmarks around the world like the Empire State Building, the Eiffel Tower and Sydney Harbour Bridge will be switching off their lights for an hour too. Public buildings in Swansea like the Civic Centre, Swansea Museum and the Guildhall will be doing the same.
Swansea Council is also contacting schools across the city to encourage pupils to stage their own Earth Hours.
Cllr Sybil Crouch, Cabinet Member for Sustainability, said:
“Joining in with Earth Hour is really as simple as flicking a switch, whether that’s your games console, your lights, your TV or your computer. We can all do our bit and pause to think about how we can do more.
“It’s important because we all need to do our bit to protect our wonderful planet for generations to come.”
Have a look at http://earthhour.wwf.org.uk for more information.