Interested to know what Earth Hour is all about?
As the last Saturday of March nears, social media starts flooding with messages like ‘switch off the lights for an hour’ and ‘do your bit for the environment,’ while our news feed gets filled with articles on climate change, the reason being ‘Earth Hour.’
So what is Earth Hour? Falling on 26 March, this year, Earth Hour is an important initiative towards a pressing issue that is climate change. Read on to know the significance of this ‘hour’ and how you can contribute towards this.
All you need to know about Earth Hour
When did Earth Hour start?
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 2 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
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’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.”
Here they are:
- 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 mediation 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.
(Hero image courtesy: Ali Rizvi/Unsplash; Feature image courtesy: The New York Public Library/Unsplash)
This article first appeared on Lifestyle Asia Bangkok