Inspired by Earth Day, which is now an established annual celebration in Santa Barbara and in cities around the world, some earnest folks in Sydney, Australia, have begun Earth Hour to call attention to global warming.

The idea is simple enough: Turn off your electric lights for one hour, and save the energy that would otherwise go into greenhouse gases and contribute to global warming. Last year 2.2 million Sydney residents and 2,100 businesses turned out their lights for the inaugural effort — cutting Sydney’s energy use 10.2 percent during the period.

The second annual Earth Hour is 8-9 p.m. Saturday. Twenty-four cities from across the globe will be participating this year, giving plenty of people an opportunity to think about their own energy use and how to reduce it.

Some Santa Barbarans are planning small parties to share the 60-minute experience. The Four Seasons Biltmore Resort, 1260 Channel Drive, is taking things a step further and serving a special Earth Hour dinner by candlelight in one of its dining rooms.

Click here for more information on Earth Hour.