Earth Hour: When is it and how is it being commemorated?

Sabrina Barr
Candles are pictured during an Earth Hour campaign in Mumbai on 27 March 2010: AFP via Getty Images

The world is currently facing an unprecedented time, rife with uncertainty, fear and a great need for community spirit and support.

In the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, the organisers of the environmental event of Earth Hour say that “the need to unite and protect our planet has never been greater”.

Here is everything you need to know about Earth Hour and how it is being commemorated this year:

What is Earth Hour?

Earth Hour is an environmental event that takes place on an annual basis.

Founded by the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) and partners in 2007, Earth Hour is now observed in more than 180 countries across the globe.

Every year, millions of people observe the event by switching off their electric lights for a single hour.

However, it “goes far beyond the symbolic action of switching off”, Earth Hour’s organisers state.

“It has become a catalyst for positive environmental impact, driving major legislative changes by harnessing the power of people and collective action,” it says on the event’s website.

“Today, Earth Hour aims to spark global conversations on protecting nature not only to combat the climate crisis, but to ensure our own health, happiness, prosperity and even survival.”

Last year, famous landmarks across the world turned off their lights in commemoration of Earth Hour.

Landmarks including the Sydney Opera House, the Pyramids in Egypt, the Eiffel Tower in Paris and the Empire State Building in New York took part.

When is it?

This year, Earth Hour is taking place on Saturday 28 March.

No matter where you are in the world, the designated will take place from 8.30pm until 9.30pm your local time.

How is it being observed this year?

This year, considering the number of people across the globe in self-isolation and under lockdown, Earth Hour is being celebrated in a slightly different way.

“We recognise the exceptional challenge that the world is facing and we thank you for your support as we try to realign our Earth Hour work appropriately,” it states on the Earth Hour website.

“In light of the latest developments the Earth Hour global organising team is recommending all individuals to take part in Earth Hour digitally this year.”

For those who would like to take part in Earth Hour, the event’s organisers are asking them to switch off their lights at home for the hour.

There are also several online events that will be live-streamed throughout the event, in addition to a “Voice for the Planet” petition you can sign “to let world leaders know that you care about nature and that you demand urgent political action to protect our planet”.

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