end March - Earth Hour

Written by Anne Newman Saturday, 30 March 2019 additions 2023

Earth Hour 2023 is scheduled for 25th March. From 8:30 pm to 9:30 pm every year since 2008 on Earth Hour Night I turn off all the lights, TV, radios, etc. in the house and sit in the quiet dark and contemplate what changes I could make that would be less destructive to this planet we call home.

I love the dark and how the stars can be seen once there is no light pollution. I had a naive idea that all the lights in the neighbourhood would go out and I would see how the sky should look. How naive was I? I still turn off the lights and tv though and add at least one new thing each year that can ease my impact on the planet.

So what is Earth Hour?

Earth Hour is a worldwide movement organized by the Word Wide Fund for Nature. (WWF).

The event is held annually encouraging individuals, communities, and businesses to turn off non-essential electric lights for one hour, from 8:30 to 9:30 pm on a specific day towards the end of March, as a symbol of commitment to the planet.

It was started as a lights-off event in Sydney, Australia. in 2007. Since then, it has grown to engage more than 7,000 cities and towns across 187 countries and territories to raise awareness for energy consumption and effects on the environment.

When Earth Hour was first unveiled by an Australian ad agency in 2007, global atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide had reached 385 parts per million, their highest level in some four million years. Since then, CO2 levels have broken through the symbolic 400ppm barrier and continue to rise sharply. The impact has been stark. Eight of the ten hottest years ever recorded have all occurred since 2007.

2018 smashed all previous records, pushing Earth systems into what the World Meteorological Organisation this week called “truly uncharted territory”.

It is simple. We need to impact less on the planet.

So tonight, once again, I will turn off the lights and sit in the dark to see what else can I do to can for this planet that is my home. I may be only one but if we add the ones together so much is possible. Remember an ocean is made up of uncountable drops of water, a beach is made from millions and millions or single grains of sand. We can turn things around if we set out minds to it.

FACTS ABOUT EARTH HOUR from World Wildlife Fund

1. It is one of the world’s biggest environmental movements - for nature and climate, organised by WWF and partners across the world – but led by the Earth Hour community.

2. A humble beginning with more than a decade of history - It has been 16 amazing years since Earth Hour began in 2007 as a small grassroots movement in Sydney, Australia.

3. It is more about rebuilding connection than just switching off - Earth Hour is the moment when local and global communities unite and switch off their lights to show they care about the future of our planet – our one shared home.

4. It is truly a spectacular, global event - Every year, hundreds of millions of people, famous landmarks, local businesses and community groups across the world take part in Earth hour events and activities.

5. Desperate times led to creative solutions - In 2020, Earth hour went fully digital for the first time in the UK. As well as switching off lights, many people connected online by joining digital events and live streams during the hour.

6. Earth Hour is helping to tackle deforestation - The world’s first ‘Earth Hour Forest’ was launched by WWF Uganda, in East Africa as part of their Earth Hour 2013 campaign to restore 2,700 hectares of degraded land.

7. Your friendly neighbourhood Spider-man got a bit more environmentally-friendly - Spider-Man is the first superhero to become a global ambassador for Earth Hour in 2014, bringing much-needed attention and global outreach for the Earth Hour movement.

8. Earth Hour made it to space - In 2015, Italian astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti joined the Earth Hour movement from space by holding a sign ‘Change Climate Change’ floating inside the International Space Station.

9. It led to a brilliant green innovation for charging phones - There are ‘solar trees’ set up across Shanghai for Earth Hour, which allows the public to charge their mobile devices with renewable green energy.

10. Earth Hour is happening this month - At 8:30-9:30 pm local time on Saturday 25 March 2023, millions of homes across the UK and the world will switch off their lights to show they care about the future of our planet.

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Anne is sharing a series of events throughout the year - you can find them listed by clicking to the link Other Notable Dates and Festivals.