Find out more about the Earth Hour movement and how you can take part in this global call for the future.

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Find out more about the Earth Hour movement and how you can take part in this global call for the future.

Written by Daniele Savietto

Launched by WWF in Sydney in 2007, Earth Hour has become a global movement against climate change, with more than 190 countries taking part in meaningful environmental actions such as switching off their lights to highlight the urgency of protecting our planet.

Organised by the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) and its partners, Earth Hour is now recognised as one of the world’s largest environmental movements and was launched in Sydney, Australia in 2007. The movement is a tangible demonstration of concern and commitment to the health of our planet that transcends borders and unites communities around the world.

More than a simple act of switching off the lights for one hour, Earth Hour is an opportunity to reconnect with nature and each other, and to reaffirm our collective commitment to protecting the environment and fighting climate change.

This annual event, which will take place on 23 March 2024 from 8.30 pm to 9.30 pm local time, will see hundreds of millions of people, as well as businesses, celebrities and entire communities, taking part in activities that reflect growing environmental awareness.

In times of unprecedented challenge, Earth Hour has encouraged creative solutions, as seen in 2020 in the UK, when the event adopted an all-digital format for the first time. This not only adapted the movement to the constraints of the pandemic, but also extended its reach, enabling global participation through online events and live broadcasts.

We have also made significant contributions to environmental conservation, such as the launch of the first Earth Hour Forest in Uganda, which aims to restore 2,700 hectares of degraded land, demonstrating the tangible impact the movement can have in the fight against deforestation.

The cultural relevance of the movement is underlined by the participation of iconic figures such as Spiderman, who became the first global Earth Hour superhero ambassador in 2014, illustrating the universal appeal and cultural influence of the event. In addition, Italian astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti took the Earth Hour message into space in 2015, highlighting the importance of the climate emergency on a truly global scale.

Other innovations, such as Shanghai’s ‘solar trees’, which allow people to charge their mobile devices using renewable energy, are also examples of how Earth Hour is inspiring green and sustainable solutions. These initiatives reflect the spirit of innovation and commitment to the environment that the movement aims to promote.

Importantly, the movement encourages the adoption of sustainable practices by individuals, communities and nations by encouraging participation in conservation initiatives and advocating for protective environmental policies. By highlighting the positive results of collective action, Earth Hour fosters a sense of hope and motivates continued citizen involvement in environmental advocacy.

In addition, Earth Hour encourages participation beyond the traditional action of switching off the lights by suggesting a variety of activities that promote sustainability and environmental involvement.

Suggestions include cooking consciously, using products from companies with eco-friendly practices and low-impact foods, and encouraging direct contact with local producers at farmers’ markets. Other activities include outdoor adventures to connect with nature, exploring conservation careers, watching environmental documentaries, discovering local biodiversity, and organising nature clean-up teams, all of which reflect a commitment to conservation and environmental education.

However, the movement has been criticised for its effectiveness in the fight against climate change, with some questioning its ability to bring about concrete changes in environmental policy or practice, pointing to its largely symbolic nature.

However, organisers stress that raising awareness and inspiring further action are key objectives beyond the annual one-hour observance.

Future Prospects

To maximise its impact, Earth Hour is evolving from a one-off annual event to an ongoing campaign of environmental engagement and action. Through educational initiatives, partnerships with governments and the private sector, and the promotion of sustainable projects, the movement aims to foster a stronger and lasting commitment to environmental protection.

Since its inception in 2007, Earth Hour has not only raised awareness of critical environmental issues among millions of people but has also catalysed innovation and practical action for conservation and environmental sustainability. The growing support from cities, businesses and individuals reflects a growing awareness of the environment and a growing willingness to act to protect the planet.

In short, as we approach Earth Hour 2024, we are reminded of the power of collective action and the importance of everyone’s contribution to the well-being of our planet. This event is not just a moment of global solidarity; it is a call to keep fighting for the environment and the green future we all want.

complementary activities

Read the article "WAYS TO HELP OUR WORLD ON A BUDGET IN 2024" and look at other ways you can make a positive difference in 2024.
Watch the Oscar-winning documentary "My Octopus Teacher". Available on Netflix.

EASY

Find out more about the Earth Hour movement and how you can take part in this global call for the future.

Written by Daniele Savietto

Launched by WWF in Sydney in 2007, Earth Hour has become a global movement against climate change, with more than 190 countries taking part in meaningful environmental actions such as switching off their lights to highlight the urgency of protecting our planet.

Launched by the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) in 2007 in Sydney, Australia, Earth Hour is a movement born out of frustration at the lack of action on climate change.

What is most interesting is how quickly it has grown from a local event to a global movement. Today, Earth Hour involves more than 190 countries, making it one of the world’s most important environmental movements.

Held every year on the last Saturday in March, it aims to raise awareness of pressing environmental issues such as climate change and biodiversity loss through a simple but powerful action: switching off the lights for one hour. This year, 2024, it will take place on 23 March from 8.30pm to 9.30pm local time.

Over the years, Earth Hour has grown from a symbolic act of switching off the lights to a broad environmental movement with far-reaching effects, highlighting the importance of reconnecting with nature and taking concrete steps to protect the environment.

It has also inspired environmental policies and initiatives at local, national, and global levels, demonstrating the power of collective mobilisation to influence the environmental agenda.

Earth Hour impact and achievements

The impact of Earth Hour goes beyond the symbolic hour of darkness and has inspired a range of environmental initiatives and achievements:

  •  Digital transformation: The 2020 pandemic prompted Earth Hour to adopt a digital approach, demonstrating the movement’s adaptability and resilience. The shift to online platforms facilitated global participation and highlighted the urgent need for environmental action.
  • Conservation efforts: Earth Hour actively contributed to conservation projects, such as the creation of the ‘Earth Hour Forest’ in Uganda, which aims to combat deforestation and restore degraded land.
  • Global ambassadors: The movement has gained the support of global icons, including Spiderman as its first superhero ambassador, underlining the universal appeal and reach of Earth Hour.
  • Innovative solutions: Initiatives such as Shanghai’s ‘Solar Trees’ exemplify Earth Hour’s role in promoting sustainable energy solutions, demonstrating the practical impact of renewable energy sources.

The movement encourages individuals, communities, and nations to adopt environmentally conscious practices, contribute to conservation efforts and advocate for policies that protect the environment. By highlighting the tangible benefits of collective action, Earth Hour inspires hope and encourages continued participation in environmental advocacy.

Despite its success and global recognition, Earth Hour has faced criticism about its real impact on climate change. Some argue that the event is largely symbolic and question its effectiveness in promoting concrete changes in environmental policy or behaviour.

However, organisers insist that the main aim is to raise awareness and inspire continued action beyond the annual hour when the movement is most visible.

Future Prospects

To broaden its impact, Earth Hour is evolving from an annual event to an ongoing campaign of environmental engagement and action. Through educational initiatives, partnerships with governments and the private sector, and the promotion of sustainable projects, it aims to foster a deeper and lasting commitment to protecting the environment.

In short, from its inception in 2007 to the present day, the movement has not only raised the awareness of millions of people on critical environmental issues but has also catalysed tangible and innovative actions for conservation and sustainability. What’s more, the growing number of cities, businesses and individuals joining the movement is a sign of increased awareness and willingness to act for the planet.

Read the article "WAYS TO HELP OUR WORLD ON A BUDGET IN 2024" and look at other ways you can make a positive difference in 2024.
Watch the Oscar-winning documentary "My Octopus Teacher". Available on Netflix.

☑️ Test your knowledge

Reading Comprehension Quiz. Find out more about the Earth Hour movement and how you can take part in this global call for the future.

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What is the main objective of Earth Hour?
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