This weekend, as the clocks ‘spring forward’ and we mark the beginning of British Summertime, why not take some time to acknowledge Earth Hour?
Earth Hour is a global movement started by the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF). The event encourages everyone to come together to switch off non-essential electric lights as symbol of our commitment to the planet. This year the event will be held on Saturday the 27th March at 8.30pm.
The event began in March 2007 in Sydney, Australia and originated from a collaboration between WWF Australia and the advertising agency Leo Burnett that aimed to get Australians more involved and engaged with the climate change issue. This inspired the ‘Lights Out’ event in San Francisco that same year.
This then led to the first international Earth Hour on March 29th 2008. The event took place in 35 countries with landmarks like Rome’s Colosseum and the Sydney Harbour Bridge switching off their non-essential lights. After this event, a Zogby International survey found that there was a 4% increase in the level of interest in environmental issues such as climate change in the USA. In Thailand, electricity usage over the hour decreased by 73.34 megawatts which equates to 41.6 tonnes of carbon dioxide.
In 2020 the event moved online and had become so popular that 190 countries and territories took part in the festivities with public figures such as UN Secretary General António Guterres, Pope Francis and Greta Thunberg showing their support.
This year there are many ways that you can take part aside from the hour long event. There are various carbon footprint trackers available online such as WWF’s app called ‘My Footprint’ which helps you to set challenges for yourself. To see the relevance of tracking your carbon footprint, here’s a recent article from the BBC: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-55907643. Or you can watch ‘David Attenborough: A Life on our Planet’ on Netflix. During the event itself you could go out to your garden and try to spot some stars or you could take part in one of WWF’s online events. Have a look at the resources available from WWF: https://www.wwf.org.uk/sites/default/files/2021-03/Individuals_and_Community_Toolkit.pdf
This event is important as it helps to raise the issue of climate change and helps to draw our attention to the need to reduce our carbon footprints.
So, why not join in on Saturday 27th March at 8.30pm!