At 8:30pm tonight, switch off your lights to participate in Earth Hour.

What is Earth Hour? Falling on 26 March,this year, Earth Hour is an important initiative towards the pressing issue that is climate change. Read on to know the significance of this ‘hour’ and how you can contribute towards it. 

[Hero Image Credit: NASA/Unsplash; Featured Image Credit: Simon Lee/Unsplash]

All you need to know about Earth Hour

When did Earth Hour start?

Picture Courtesy: The New York Public Library/Unsplash

In 2007, World Wide Fund For Nature (WWF), formerly named World Wildlife Fund, started Earth Hour, as a symbolic gesture in Sydney, Australia, to raise awareness about climate change. However, now, it has become one of the largest movements across the globe.

The official Earth Hour website states, “Held every year on the last Saturday of March, Earth Hour engages supporters in more than 190 countries and territories, all taking action to ensure a brighter future for people and the planet.”

It adds, “Earth Hour has also gone far beyond the symbolic action of switching off — it has become a catalyst for positive environmental impact, driving major legislative changes by harnessing the power of the people and collective action.”

History of Earth Hour

In 2004, the concept first came into being when WWF Australia teamed up with an advertising agency Leo Burnett Sydney to raise awareness on climate change and related issues. This was followed by the ‘switch off’ idea in 2006. As put forth by Earth Reminder, “Large-scale switch off the idea of electric items first came in 2006, with the title named ‘The Big Flick’. WWF then presented their concept to Fairfax Media and Sydney Mayor Clover Moore, who agreed to give full support.

In 2007, over two million households and businesses switched off their unnecessary lights on the last Saturday, which was 31 March, for an hour in Sydney. This inspired San Francisco, US, to do the same in October the same year. Following this, Earth Hour was decided to be executed each year in March.

The ‘Earth Hour’ activity

Protect Earth
Picture Courtesy: Fateme Alaie/Unsplash

To stand in solidarity and show support towards climate change, millions across the globe switch off their lights for an hour from 8:30 pm to 9:30 pm (country standard time) on the last Saturday of March.  

Conserve Energy Future believes, “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.

Earth Hour 2022 theme

Every year, Earth Hour is observed with specific themes or events in frame. This year, it is all the more important as the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity 15th Conference of the Parties (UN CBD COP 15) will be held in Kunming, China, as per authorities, states Earth Reminder.

In this convention, global leaders, representatives and authorities will discuss plans and actions related to these issues for our future, using this as an opportunity for everyone to be aware and take steps for a better tomorrow

You can also do your bit to spread awareness about this day by using the hashtag #earthour2022 or #earthhourday2022 on your social media accounts and share activities related to this cause like planting a tree.  

Things to do to make your Earth Hour 2022 special

Earth Hour Activity
Picture Courtesy: Noah Busche/Unsplash

Earth Hour’s official website suggests some interesting activities to make Earth Hour memorable. It states, “After switching off your lights, here’s how you can spend the Hour with your friends, family, and community — whether at home, outside, online, or in-person — to make it an impactful evening to remember.”

How to make your Earth Hour special:

  • You can go on hikes if that is possible or simply visit any natural space like parks, beaches or mountains. All in all, it would be a nice idea to connect with nature. This is synonymous with the activity as well. Don’t forget to carry a flashlight.
  • In case you feel like staying home, you can cook for your loved ones while making sure nothing goes wasted. Well, we all love candlelight dinners together, don’t we? You can use the leftover food to make interesting dishes or recycle them.
  • Spending quality time with family and friends is a must. So, host a fun get together and play board games by candlelight. Not just that, you can spend this hour singing or listening to music or watching planet-friendly films together.
  • Try brushing up your knowledge with information on climate changes, environmental losses, sustainability and other relevant topics by watching documentaries or reading up on them.
  • Interacting with your community on pressing issues, like how to save the earth, maybe a good way to spend not only this hour but the day and other days as well. You can participate in community Earth Hour events like cleaning natural spaces, planting trees, taking part in meditation sessions or marathons together.
  • You can try getting active by going on a night run or cycling, ensuring all safety measures, of course, or doing candlelit yoga. The official website says that you can also, “Go to your nearest park, beach, nature trail, or outdoor space and pick up any trash you find (we recommend bringing gloves, tongs, and a biodegradable rubbish bag)! You may have to get your hands dirty, but you’ll leave with a clean conscience.”
  • Take a peek within yourself and put the little artist inside you to work by trying candlelight painting. You can try upcycling and create wonders or compose a song with sounds from nature as well. Who knows, Earth Hour may help you discover a new talent, too.

This story first appeared on Lifestyle Asia Bangkok

written by.

Pyusha Chatterjee

A journalist, Pyusha has previously worked with media organisations including The New Indian Express and Hindustan Times. A solo traveller by choice, she loves exploring life more than anything else, after food of course. When she isn't gardening, writing, reading, cooking or singing out loud, you can spot her watching films and series, debating with friends or organising things unnecessarily.
Earth Hour: All You Need To Know About The Annual Environmental Event
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