What is Earth Hour?
Earth Hour is one of the world’s largest grassroots movements for the environment. It was started by the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) in 2007 in Sydney, Australia. It is held every last Saturday of March for an hour from 8.30 pm to 9.30 pm in your local time zone and engages millions of people in more than 180 countries and territories. It sees the world switching off its lights to show support for the planet. The movement is an open-source platform and welcomes everyone, anywhere to take part in the movement and help protect the planet.
Earth Hour is all about spreading awareness of environmental issues in our global and local communities. It is an annual global event organized by WWF (World Wild Fund for Nature) encouraging individuals, communities, corporates, and households to turn off their lights to show support for the fight against climate change and commitment towards a better planet. Every year on the last Saturday of the month of March from 8:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m., millions across the world choose to turn off their lights for one hour to celebrate their commitment to the planet.
Earth Hour has also progressed to more than just championing the environment but also covers unity among all the people of the world, harnessing the power of the people and advocating for legislative changes that have a positive impact on the environment. It also aims to spark global conversations on protecting nature, as well as ensuring our health, prosperity, health and survival. All these are challenges affecting the world that need to be addressed immediately, without introducing politics.
As the years went on, its popularity grew and Earth Hour became a global phenomenon. Because of the overwhelming success of Earth Hour, WWF has now become a worldwide sponsor and is moving to increase more awareness through crowdfunding initiatives. Crowdfunding invites environmentally aware individuals to donate in order to raise funds to do other environmental work across the planet. Some of these initiatives include:
- Uganda: The planting of half a million trees in order to protest the deforestation of ecosystems across the globe.
- Russia: Pushing a bill through congress with over 120,000 signatures, which focuses in on protecting the country’s seas from oil pollution.
- Argentina: 3.4 million hectares of sea is being protected, raising the percentage of sea protection from 1 percent to 4 percent – a huge leap for the country.
These initiatives and many more have become the first step for advocates who are actively involved in Earth Hour.
Similar to Earth’s hour is Earth Day that has its own significance.
Earth hour has become an important staple of environmental awareness and consciousness. Reducing your carbon footprint, both in your personal life and in the workplace, is essential in order to create a robust and environmentally safe world. Preserving the natural heritage of our planet is what Earth Hour is all about.
By becoming environmentally conscious through Earth Hour, many companies and individuals have made incredible changes to their lifestyles in order to support the need for change. Because we waste a lot of fuel, electricity and produce a lot of waste, sometimes the message for a cleaner world falls upon deaf ears. However, through its years of progression, Earth Hour has helped millions across the world become environmentally conscious and produced noticeable change.
- Why You Should Care?
- Reasons Why Earth Hour is So Important
- What Are Various Earth Hour Activities?
- How Can You Contribute to Earth’s Hour?
- Does Earth Hour Make A Difference?
Why You Should Care?
Earth hour is an opportunity for millions of people all around the world to take part in Earth hour and show their support for climate change. By switching off your lights for one hour, you can make a substantial difference in energy consumption and can help reduce the effect of global warming on this planet.
It is an opportunity for people around the world to show their gesture towards global warming and climate change that have started showing significant effects on our environment. By reducing your energy consumption and making small changes in your daily lives, you can make a huge change in the effects of global warming.
Reasons Why Earth Hour is So Important
The consumption of fossil fuels at a rapid pace in the last few decades has taken a toll on the environment. Global warming, climate change, deforestation, landfills, air, water and soil pollution, are some of the problems from which our environment is suffering.
Earth Hour is all about taking steps towards change. Our climate is changing every single day, and it’s becoming harder and harder to forget that many of our daily choices have a dramatic effect on the world we live in. By staying constantly aware of what’s going on with the environment, the community at Earth Hour has made several different projects in all sixty countries to help promote a healthy environment year-round. By reducing your carbon footprint and become involved in organizations like Earth Hour, you can promote active change within the environment for generations to come. Earth Hour is a great initiative and will run for years on.
1. It promotes action
Earth Hour sees tens of countries and territories in the world combining their Earth Hour campaigns with encouragement for eco-action. In 2015, for instance, the WWF, Earth Hour’s official organizing foundation, recorded over 600,000 green actions during that year’s countdown. The Organisation also uses the movement to push for legislative changes as well as supporting other environmental projects like supporting renewable energy growth and sustainable agriculture.
2. It is global
Earth Hour was started in 2007 in Sydney, Australia and today, it is observed all over the world by millions of people at 8.30 pm local time. By 2020, Earth Hour is celebrated in over 180 countries and territories, switching off their lights to show support for the planet.
3. It creates awareness
Earth Hour is a movement aimed at creating awareness. In the build-up towards each year’s Earth Hour, the hype creates spreads the word about environmental issues. In 2015, 82 million Earth Hour videos were watched between January and March with 7.8 million digital Earth Hour interactions taking place in the two days between March 27 and March 29 alone. These figures will keep on growing as years progress and as more Earth Hours are celebrated.
4. It brings people together
We have become so addicted to electricity that we simply cannot sit alone in the dark. As such, over 70,000 Earth Hour events were checked into digital maps in 2015. Regardless of whether you live alone, with friends or family, or join a community event, Earth Hour is a reminder that we need to come together to solve climate change.
5. We can see it
By turning off the lights, we are sending a powerful visual statement. With lights being switched off, buildings, monuments, skyscrapers and landmarks ‘disappear’ into the dark. Some of these iconic monuments that go dark for an hour include the London Eye, Sydney’s Opera House, Big Ben, the Great Pyramid of Giza, and the Eiffel Tower.
6. It aims at protecting nature
We rely on natural systems, which are very vital for our future. Unfortunately, the global loss of nature over the last half-century is unprecedented needs urgent global attention. Nature provides us with clean air, water, food, and services worth trillion every year. Earth Hour is important as it allows us to work towards achieving better resources from nature, as well as envisioning what our lives will be if we do not fight for the planet.
7. It is effective
These small changes in the Earth Hour movement have been recorded to be working. In 2013 during Earth Hour, Toronto recorded a 205-megawatt reduction, equivalent to 92,000 homes off the grid. The same in Bangkok recorded a 1,699-megawatt reduction, eliminating roughly 1,073 tons of carbon dioxide emissions.
8. It brings about other measures to protect the environment
Earth Hour helps us see what our lives can become if we neglect mother nature. As such, it has inspired other movements all over the world aimed at protecting nature and the environment in general. For instance, as a direct result of Earth Hour, Uganda planted over half-a-million trees against 6,000 hectares of deforestation. In Argentina, 3.4 million hectares of the sea are now protected.
What Are Various Earth Hour Activities?
1. Having a candle-lit dinner: It is the most obvious activity that one can do in one hour in the dark. The activity can help us have an intimate dinner with family, friends and relatives while catching up on each other’s lives. The dinner can be held at home, outside or in a hotel and if you invite friends and family over, be sure to play some games
2. Have a quiz night: These are some of the games you can start playing with others as you disconnect from the internet. Invite some friends or family, and play as many quizzes as possible. Try playing board games like scrabble, or quizzes downloaded from the hundreds of websites that offer them
3. Have some candlelit workout: Within that hour, try and work up a sweat and raising your heart rate by participating in your favorite workout. Gather friends over, burn some calories along with those candles and think of ways to bring your commitment to climate action beyond Earth Hour
4. Learn to play an instrument: Earth Hour can provide you with the ample opportunity to learn to play the piano or the guitar without excuses. Have the family sing and dance along to some tunes as you bond
5. Go look at the stars: This can be a romantic session with your significant other by going out and checking out the stars. Study up the cosmos and venture out to a dark and open spot near your home where you can watch the stars.
6. Read a bedtime story: Light up a candle, creating a cozy atmosphere. Transform your favorite bedtime story into a fantastic journey of the imagination.
7. Go out for a night time city walk: It might be a bit dark outside but this might be a great opportunity to take a nighttime walk around the city. See which famous buildings have plugged off and try imagining your favorite city without that landmark
8. Go out for a nighttime bike ride: You can as well take your bike with you and cycle for an hour. This is actually a nice way to exercise and might convince you to leave the car at home and be biking to work.
9. Make a resolution: Take this opportunity to commit to reducing your carbon footprint. Resolve to be switching off the lights if you are not in a room, plant more trees or switch to electronic devices to save on paper. All these are measures that can help the bleeding planet and will come in handy for future generations.
How Can You Contribute to Earth’s Hour?
1. Make a plan
Set a reminder of the date and hour and prepare with what you are going to do. Discuss the plan with your closest family members or friends and switch off when that hour comes
2. Make others aware
Not all the people in the world are aware of Earth Hour. Help in spreading the word, the message and the aims to more people around you. In the next few years, it will be globally known and will be recognized by more people, thereby helping in saving the planet. In the spirit of making people aware, spread the word about switching to energy-saving appliances, and making environmentally-conscious decisions like recycling, planting more trees, switching the lights more often and using cold water for washing your clothes
3. Engage the community
For those who live in select communities, organize some events that might involve more people from the community, like scavenger hunting. Take the one hour to socialize, play games, know each other and discuss a way forward for that community. In an office setting, encourage the staff, customers and colleagues to participate in Earth Hour
4. Design posters
Let more people know that you, as a community, family, group, organization, business or company, will be participating in Earth Hour. Let them ask you more questions on the same and take the opportunity to enlighten them. Post these posters on walls, doors, hallways, bulletin boards and even on entrances. Pump these posters on your social media channels and make Earth Hour trend so much that more and more people get to know about it, regardless of where they are on earth
5. In schools
Take pictures of your Earth Hour celebrations, put the information on the school’s website and other publications. You can also hold a countdown in the week leading up to the event. Educate more students by watching environmentally-themed movies or documentaries.
Does Earth Hour Make A Difference?
Simply put, Earth Hour does make a difference. The concept is meant to raise awareness as to our actions, and help us resort to environmentally-conscious practices. Earth Hour is slowly contributing to the same, although it needs to be improved.
There are 8760 hours in a year and switching the lights for one of those might not seem to make a lot of difference. One hour in one day of the 365 of a year might not be enough, prompting us to suggest that Earth Hour should be at least one hour every month. It might still be insufficient, but 12 hours in a year is much better than one.
The beauty behind Earth Hour is the challenge it is raising that we need to protect the environment. It has even sparked movements all over the world that have seen some actual progress. For instance, in Argentina and Uganda, as already mentioned before, there have been steps taken to protect the sea and plant more trees, respectively.
Additionally, WWF launched a crowdsourcing and crowdfunding tool on its website, known as Earth Hour Blue, allowing people to get involved in events worldwide by choosing a country and an interest. These interests include protecting whales in the Arctic, protecting tigers in Singapore and availing clean energy for communities in India