Earth Hour is an annual event that will this year take place on March 27 2021 from 20:30 until 21:30 wherever you are in the world. But why does this happen? Here are 10 facts about Earth Hour and some ideas on how you can get involved.
- Earth Hour is organised by the WWF and was first held in Sydney, Australia in 2007, where 2.2 million individuals turned their lights off for one hour.
- The WWF charity noticed Sydney’s efforts and expanded the movement internationally the year after, in 2008. Since then, it has grown to engage millions of supporters in more than 185 countries and territories.
- The aim of the awareness hour is to switch off any unnecessary lights, plugs and sockets.
- This year, Earth Hour will be held on March 27. This is because it is around the time of the Spring and Autumn equinoxes in the northern and southern hemispheres respectively, which allows for near coincidental sunset times in both hemispheres, thereby ensuring the greatest visual impact for a global ‘lights out’ event.
- Earth Hour endeavours to spark global conversations on protecting nature not only because it is our strongest ally against the climate crisis – but also because of its importance in ensuring our own health, happiness, prosperity and even survival.
- Earth Hour asks people to turn their lights off for one hour. Its ultimate aim is for people to take action beyond the hour, whether it is supporting a local project or getting involved in Earth Hour campaigns in their own country, or starting the movement in their own community.
- In 2018, Earth Hour took place in a record-breaking 188 countries and territories, with about 17 900 participating landmarks. Millions of people switched their lights off for an hour, and the Earth Hour 2018 campaign saw #EarthHour and #Connect2Earth trend on Twitter in 33 countries.
- Famous landmarks like the Eiffel Tower, Sydney’s Opera House, the Empire State Building, The Great Pyramids, the Burj Khalifa, Big Ben and the Colosseum take part in Earth Hour, too.
- In 2013, the Ugandan WWF branch bought the world’s first Earth Hour Forest in an attempt to combat current deforestation rates. Since then, the charity has protected over 2 700 hectares of land, and aim to repopulate it with 500 000 trees.
- In 2021, for the first time ever, WWF is encouraging an ‘Earth Hour Virtual Spotlight’. The aim is to get as many people as possible to share the film posted on Earth Hour’s social media channels at 20:30.
- More than 250 000 Russians voiced support for better protection of their country’s seas and forests
- Argentina used its 2013 Earth Hour campaign to help pass a Senate bill for a 3.4 million hectares Marine Protected Area in the country
- Thousands of wood-saving stoves were distributed to families in Madagascar
- Solar-powered lights were installed in three villages without electricity in India
- In Paraguay, WWF used the Earth Hour platform to build public support to gain an extension of the logging moratorium, helping to reduce deforestation
- Education programmes for schools were launched in Thailand and Taiwan
- Hundreds of thousands of LED lights were installed by girl scouts in the USA
Featured image by: Flickr
You might also like: The UK is Building a Facility That Recycles Plastic With Steam