Earth Hour 2016 is nearly here! This Saturday, March 19th, people around the world will switch off their lights and other non-essential power from 8:30 PM to 9:30 PM local time in support of the annual environmental campaign.
Earth Hour was started by WWF in Sydney, Australia in 2007 as a “lights off” event to bring awareness to environmental issues. Today, more than 7,000 cities and towns in over 172 countries and territories unite in support of our planet.
This year’s focus is climate change—one of the biggest environmental challenges we currently face. The goal is to inspire individuals, businesses and governments around the world to prioritize climate change through initiatives such as renewable energy and sustainable agriculture, as well as funding projects to protect forests and ecosystems and promoting climate education. Although it isn’t necessary to plan your event according to this theme, doing so will help raise awareness to the issue and help push for change.
Below are some ideas for Earth Hour activities that WWF suggests:
- Hosting an indoor picnic by candlelight with family and friends.
- Creating art in the dark to be fully revealed once the lights are switched back on.
- Finding a dark and open spot near your home to stargaze.
- Taking pictures by candlelight or capturing photos of darkened landmarks. You can post them on social media once Earth Hour is over by using the hashtag #earthhour.
Creativity is a major aspect of the Earth Hour movement, so have fun and come up with your own ideas for ways to spend the hour!
To see the individuals and groups worldwide who have registered their Earth Hour events, or to register your own event, you can go to the Earth Hour Tracker. You can also use the Earth Hour Starter Kit to find posters, logos and banners that you can use to publicize your event, as well as access social media toolkits and the event guide.
Earth Hour initiatives do not need to end once the lights come back on, and the fight to correct climate change will certainly not end, either. Some ways to continue the efforts begun during Earth Hour include:
- Staying informed, and informing others, on climate change.
- Switching to LED lights.
- Using reusable bags instead of paper and plastic.
- Begin walking, bicycling or using public transportation as often as you can.
- Reduce paper usage by switching to digital whenever possible, or printing double-sided whenever digital is not an option.
Join the millions of people fighting to correct climate change and turn off your lights and non-essential power this Saturday from 8:30 PM to 9:30 PM, and take an hour to spend with family and friends in support of our planet.