Tomorrow at 8:30 PM, local time – anywhere and everywhere – on Saturday, March 26th, 2011, lights will switch off around the globe for Earth Hour and people will commit to actions for our Earth that go beyond the hour…
“Earth Hour started in 2007 in Sydney, Australia when 2.2 million individuals and more than 2,000 businesses turned their lights off for one hour to take a stand against climate change. Only a year later and Earth Hour had become a global sustainability movement with more than 50 million people across 35 countries/territories participating.” ~ Earth Hour
Earth Hour is organized by the World Wildlife Federation (WWF). With almost 5 million supporters and a global network in over 100 countries/territories, it’s one of the world’s largest and most respected independent conservation organizations. WWF’s mission is to stop the degradation of the Earth’s natural environment and build a future where people live in harmony with nature.
On Saturday March 27, 2010 Earth Hour had its largest support ever. A record 128 countries and territories joined the global display of climate action, and iconic structures and landmarks from Asia to Europe and Africa to the Americas switched their lights off. People across the world from all walks of life came together in celebration and contemplation of the one thing we all have in common – our planet.
This year, the Hungarian International Airport in Budapest will switch off an entire airstrip for Earth Hour at 8.30pm on Saturday night in a symbolic display of its commitment to go beyond the hour. What are you doing?
For 2011 the organization is asking for us to go “beyond the hour” and take action to make our world a better place by sharing your act with the world. Greenroofs.com has been doing this for four years now – it’s really just a show of solidarity to reinforce our commitment to sustainability at the global level, but it surely has a deeper meaning – but do we really get it?
For me, Earth Hour is a collective beam of hope (albeit darkened!) yet akin to the unfurling leaves and buds that signify the eternal springtime of life. It’s kind of the harbringer of Earth Month, which is April (OK, I don’t know if it’s really called Earth Month, but it should be).
Because Earth Hour is observed on a Saturday every year, it’s pretty easy to “go dark” for all of one hour – in the past, Aramis and I have entertained ourselves by leaving the house, turning off all the lights and going to see a movie – hey, they’re going to have the electricity on anyway, but we don’t have to, right?; doing various activities via candle light – grilling and sipping wine outside on the deck; playing card games; and more recently actually discussing the larger picture of the urgency to switch to sustainable means of energy for every day electricity needs and beyond (OK, with wine in hand). And we blacken out parts of the Homepage, too. We all know we need to take some action to curb climate change and become less dependant on Earth-depleting energy sources – this is a yearly reminder.
“Climate change is the greatest human induced crisis facing our world today. It is totally indiscriminate of race, culture, class, nationality or religious belief. It affects every living organism on the planet – including all of us.” ~ Archbishop Emeritus Tutu
It’s not all doom and gloom, either – Earth Hour has also created some fun activities to raise awareness at all age levels and so the the whole family can get involved, like creating a latern for Earth Hour and a kids’ game where you turn out as many lights as possible as quickly as you can.
The point is to remember to become more aware of our actions and switch off your lights for Earth Hour! Rally your friends and family and make it a night to remember. Make one single action representing the start of your personal journey of commitment to a more sustainable Earth. So how else can you support it? Click below to find out:
Earth Hour is asking us to consider what else we can do to make a difference, after the lights go back on. Whatever you do, this is just one thing we can do to continue the dialogue. Learn more by watching the awesome video below:
Happy Earth Hour 2011! ~ Linda and Aramis V.