A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.
Every year, at 8:30 pm on the last Saturday in March, millions across the world come together to raise awareness for the need to protect the Earth better, by switching off lights for an hour – Earth Hour.
This year, Earth Hour will be observed on Saturday, 27 March, from 8:30 pm to 9:30 pm local time.
Now in its 14th year, Earth Hour is the brainchild of the Australian chapter of the World Wildlife Fund (WWF). On March 31, 2007, the nonprofit urged the citizens and businesses in Sydney to switch off all lights and turn off all non-essential devices for one hour. Over 2 million households and 2,100 enterprises complied with the request. This small action helped save 10% of the electricity — the equivalent of the carbon dioxide emitted by 48,000 cars— consumed by the city’s residents in a regular evening hour.
As news of the impact spread, more people became inspired to join the Earth Hour movement. In 2008, over 50 million people in over 5,000 cities worldwide observed the event, and the numbers have only grown since. Today Earth Hour, held annually on the last Saturday of March, is the biggest voluntary environmental movement globally and is celebrated in over 180 countries and territories.
How can I participate?
While the big changes certainly help, minor lifestyle changes can make a big difference as well. Simple actions such as turning off unnecessary lights or choosing wood pencils over plastic ones can go a long way to help reverse climate change.
Not sure what to do without your gadgets and television for a whole hour? Why not organize a candlelight dinner for your family or, if that is not exciting enough, then how about a late-night hike or bike ride? Remember, climate change can be reversed if we all help — as the old Chinese proverb states: “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.”
What’s different this year?
Over the years, the lights-off moment saw entire streets, buildings, landmarks, and city skylines go dark – an unmissable sight that drew public attention to nature loss and the climate crisis.
This year – amidst the current global circumstances – in addition to switching off your lights, we also invite you to raise awareness and create the same unmissable sight online, so that the world sees our planet, the issues we face, and our place within it, in a new light.
Click here for more information on the first-ever Earth Hour “Virtual Spotlight” organized by earthhour.org.