What is Earth Hour?
Earth Hour is the climate change initiative of the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF). A statement on the official website reads:
“We’re the first generation to know we are destroying our planet. And we could be the last that can do anything about it.”
The initiative began in Sydney in 2007 and has over the years grown into the world’s most massive grassroots movement for the environment.
The easiest way to participate is to switch your lights off between 20:30 and 21:30 on 30 March, however, you can do so much more.
Every year, millions of people are inspired to take action for the planet and nature from campaigning for environmentally-friendly laws and policies to crowdfunding for a better future.
Historic landmarks from across the world – Eiffel Tower, Empire State Building, Sydney Opera House, etc. – are all participating in Earth Hour 2019.
The website explains that “Earth Hour’s greatest strength is the power of people.” So why is all of this needed?
Earth Hour statistics
According to the WWF:
“As accelerating climate change and staggering biodiversity loss threaten our planet, Earth Hour 2018-2020 endeavours to spark never-before-had conversations on the loss of nature and the urgent need to protect it.”
Our natural resources are dwindling. The impact we are experiencing as a result of climate change is worse than ever.
Facts and figures for Earth Hour 2018
- 188 countries and territories focused on environmental action and issues such as protecting biodiversity, sustainable lifestyles, deforestation, plastics and stronger climate policy;
- Lights out at around 17 900 landmarks including the Sydney Opera House (Sydney), Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament (London), the Tokyo Sky Tree (Tokyo), the Empire State Building (New York), the pyramids of Egypt (Cairo), Sheikh Zayed, Grand Mosque (Abu Dhabi), Christ the Redeemer statue (Rio de Janeiro) and the Eiffel Tower (Paris);
- 3.5 billion plus impressions of official campaign hashtags between January and March. Related hashtags also trended in 33 countries
- Around 250 celebrities and influencers worldwide raised their voices for the planet. These include Andy Murray, Jared Leto, Ellie oulding, The Killers, Amitabh Bachchan, Li Bingbing, Park Seo-joon, Claudia Bahamon and Roger Milla;
- Earth Hour 2018 partners included the World Organization of the Scout Movement, Zinkia Entertainment Ltd, creators of popular cartoon character Pocoyo, and crowdsourcing platform Userfarm.
What can we do?
Start small: Switch your lights off. Use social media to raise awareness about climate change. Why not enjoy the hour by candlelight and discuss as the family the changes you can bring about in your day to day lives.
These changes could be as big as donating your time and money to related causes. Or as small as reducing your shower time and not overfilling the kettle.
Need some ideas on where to start?
- Air dry dishes instead of using the dishwasher’s drying cycle
- Wash only full loads of dishes and clothes
- Use power strips for appliances and turn it off when not in use
- Install low-flow showerheads and aerated taps
- Turn off lights when you’re not in the room
- Open curtains facing the sun; close curtains/blinds at night
- Take shorter showers
- Insulate hot water pipes
- Keep the oven door closed while cooking
- Unplug battery chargers when the batteries are fully charged
- Replace traditional incandescent light bulbs with LEDs
- Purchase energy efficient appliances
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