10 facts you didn’t know about Earth Hour, and how you can get involved

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  • Mark your calendars for Saturday 27th March at 8.30pm.

    Pssst: it’s Earth Hour this Saturday (27th March), a global movement orgainsed by the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) charity.

    Held once a year, its aim is to encourage the world to to turn off all non-essential electric lights for an hour. The task really is simple: to dim your bulbs between 8.30pm and 9.30pm to mark your commitment to the planet.

    Fun fact: more than 7,000 cities and towns and 187 countries across the world will be taking part.

    Mark your calendars for Saturday 27th March at 8.30pm.

    And in the meantime – keep reading for ten facts you didn’t know about Earth Hour, plus a bit more about what the hour marks and the all-important reasons you should get involved.

    What is Earth Hour?

    According to the WWF website, Earth Hour is one of the world’s largest movements for our planet. “Millions of people around the world switch off their lights to show they care about the future of our planet – our shared home,” they share.

    “Joining Earth Hour’s switch off reminds us that even small actions can make a big difference.”

    “When we make changes in our own lives, and when we share that with others, we also inspire the people around us to change – and we help grow a movement that businesses and governments can’t ignore,” they conclude.

    Hear, hear.

    Why is Earth Hour important?

    Now, more than ever, we all need to be living more sustainably. It’s an absolutely crucial decade for climate and nature action, and by marking your commitment this Earth Hour, you take one stem closer to making a lasting change.

    So, will you do your bit?

    10 facts you didn’t know about Earth Hour

    1. Earth Hour first began life in Sydney back in 2007. That year, 2.2 million homes across the city turned off their lights.

    2. The World Wide Fund for Nature (previously known as the World Wildlife Fund) charity noticed Sydney’s efforts and expanded the movement internationally the year after, in 2008.

    3. It’s not just homes that make the effort to mark Earth Hour – businesses and famous landmarks, including the Eiffel Tower, Sydney’s Opera House, the Empire State Building, The Great Pyramids, the Burj Khalifa, Big Ben, and the Colosseum take part, too.

    4. Earth Hour isn’t just about switching off lights, either. The aim of the awareness hour is to switch off any unnecessary lights, plugs and sockets and watch the impact worldwide.

    5. Eight years ago, the Ugandan WWF branch bought the world’s first Earth Hour Forest in an attempt to combat current deforestation rates. Since then, the charity has protected over 2,700 hectares of land, and aim to repopulate it with 500,000 trees.

    6. The theme of this year’s Earth Hour? #Connect2Earth. The WWF website states that the theme was set ‘in a bid to encourage people to reach out and engage in conversations with organizations about the uniqueness and diversity of life.’

    7. Fun fact: switching the lights off really does make a difference. Just last year, the Philippines reduced their electricity consumption during Earth Hour by 611MWh. That roughly translates to the same amount of energy that twelve coal-fired power plants use in an hour.

    8. Ever seen the Earth Hour logo? It’s got the number 60 on it, symbolising the 60 minutes Earth Hour asks you to switch your lights off for. Their new logo has a plus sign too, representing the ‘commitment to continue to do positive eco-acts that go beyond Earth Hour,’ they share.

    9. This year, for the first time ever, WWF are encouraging an ‘Earth Hour Virtual Spotlight’. The aim is simple: to get as many people as possible to share the film posted on Earth Hour’s social media channels at 8.30pm. Keep an eye out.

    10. And, finally, Earth Hour is held annually in late March every year. Wondering why? Well, it’s to make sure the Spring and Autumn equinoxes coincide in the northern and southern hemispheres. In other words, its held when the sun is setting at round about the same time all over the world – and when an event that asks the world to switch out its lights will be most powerful.

    Research by Elli Collins 

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