Earth as a lightbulb

Earth Hour is upon us. Time to ‘go dark’ and light up the night with meaningful discussions about ways we can support sustainability efforts across the globe. Here’s why you should get involved this year.

What is Earth Hour?

An international movement first started in Australia way back in 2007, Earth Hour is an annual event organised by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) that encourages people to turn off non-essential electric lights for one hour. Usually occurring in the last Saturday of March, at 8:30PM local time, where individuals, communities and businesses are invited to ‘go dark’ in order to reduce global consumption of electricity.

In previous years, iconic landmarks such as the Colosseum in Italy, Buckingham Palace in London, the Gateway of India, and Empire State Building in the United States have shown support for the campaign by turning out their lights.

The event is meant to symbolise unity and hope for a sustainable future.

How you can participate

Getting involved is as easy as switching off your lights for one hour at 8:30PM. The WWF also encourages people to use this time as a way to have meaningful conversations about global environmental issues and be more mindful of our energy consumption.

View from space of lights on Earth.
Every light counts. Credit: NASA/Unsplash.

Measuring the impact

It might be easy to think that turning off your lights for 60 minutes wouldn’t have much of an impact, but the numbers may surprise you. In fact, millions of people across 190 countries participate in Earth Hour each year – that’s a lot of lightbulbs.

It’s estimated that if every home in the UK joined in and turned off their lights for an hour, nearly 10-million-kilowatt hours could be saved. Beyond the short-term reduction in energy consumption, the longer lasting impact comes from the awareness of positive behavioural change and investment in the environment.

One hour per year is a great start, but sustained action and will be what helps reduce our environmental impact in the years ahead. Let’s use tonight as the starting point to invite better routines into our lives, ones that will ensure a healthier planet for all.

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