The World Wildlife Federation’s (WWF) annual Earth Hour presents a challenge to save energy that more and more British Columbians are finding fun and creative ways to take on.

BC Hydro’s numbers show participation is increasing each year, with the megawatt hours conserved during last year’s one-hour event nearly doubling, from 64 in 2010 to 117. That’s equivalent to 7.8 million 15-watt compact fluorescent bulbs all going dark at once.

Although that’s only a small fraction of the province’s typical hourly electricity use (1.04 per cent in 2010 versus 1.8 per cent in 2011), it’s significant enough that more communities than ever are getting in the game.

“The event really is taking off on its own so that communities are embracing it with innovative ideas to promote Earth Hour, and really doing the promotion themselves,” said BC Hydro spokeswoman Jennifer Young, adding this is the fourth year the corporation has supported the event.

“We’re one organization that helps promote Earth Hour. WWF, of course, does a lot of promotion of the event, but it really is starting to be a very organic event, where communities are starting to come up with their own interesting and innovative ways to celebrate and mark Earth Hour.”

Kamloops is hosting a “dim swim” at its Canada Games Pool this Saturday, while Pitt Meadows, which led the province with a six per cent drop in energy consumption during last year’s event, is hosting a parade of lights featuring an Earth Hour song written by two local artists.

In Vancouver many office towers will go dark, along with the string of lights on the Lions Gate Bridge.

“This year we’ve got 87 municipalities on board. Last year we had 80,” said Young. “People are really being creative in participating in Earth Hour. It’s a lot of fun, it’s super easy to participate and it’s one hour a day that can teach you good conservation behaviour.”