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Earth Hour - 29th March 2014

Always wondered what Earth Hour is about? Whether you’re a seasoned supporter, getting involved for the first time this year, or you’ve never heard about it before – today we’re talking about Earth Hour; what it is, what it means, and how you can get involved.

So, What Is Earth Hour?

Earth Hour is a worldwide grassroots movement that encourages people across the world to join forces to improve the planet.

Organised by WWF, Earth Hour first began in Australia back in 2007 when, on the 31st March, over 2.2 million residents of Sydney and 2,000 businesses joined forces to make a powerful statement about the greatest contributor to global warming; coal-fired electricity.

Between the hours of 7:30 and 8:30pm, those two million Sydney-siders turned off their lights and appliances and plunged the city in to darkness for 60 minutes. During this hour, there was a 10.2% reduction in energy consumption across the city. This figure is double what was initially anticipated, and represents a reduction of 24.86 tonnes of carbon dioxide. Struggling to picture what that equates to? Us too. It turns out that 24.86 tonnes is the same as taking 48,613 cars off the road for one hour - wow.


What started out as a city striving to make a difference has resulted in one of the biggest, and fastest growing climate change initiatives ever.

One year later, in 2008, more than 50 million people across 35 countries participated in the second Earth Hour. Global landmarks such as the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, Rome’s Colosseum and the Coca Cola billboard in Times Square all stood in darkness to make a statement against our continuous battering of the world and it's natural resources.

Since then, the popularity of this event has continued to increase at an unprecedented rate. In 2010, 128 countries and territories took part which, in a single year, increased to 5,251 cities and towns in 135 countries and territories across all seven continents in 2011. The Forbidden City, the Eiffel Tower, Buckingham Palace, Table Mount, and the Sydney Opera House, to name a few, turned their lights off in support of the initiative. 2011 was also the first time that Earth Hour asked people to go beyond the hour by eliminating the use of any non-essential electronic products in their everyday lives, thus making a longer and more sustainable impact on the environment. In 2012, 7000 cities across 152 countries and territories were involved; signalling the biggest year of growth of the campaign since 2009.

Follow Earth Hour's board Earth Hour 2012 on Pinterest.

Tell More More About Earth Hour 2014...

2014 will be the eight Earth Hour to take place, and over 7000 cities and towns worldwide are expected to turn their lights and non-essential appliances off for one hour. This year also marks the arrival of Earth Hour Blue; a digital crowd funding and crowdsourcing platform for projects for the world.

Earth Hour Blue will allow individuals to financially support and variety of projects which will deliver tangible changes to the environment. From planting half a million trees in Uganda (creating the worlds’ first Earth Hour forest in a fight against the 6000 hectares of deforestation), to protecting 3.4 million hectares of seas in Argentina, the projects are using the power of the crowd to protect the planet.

This year, Earth Hour and the stars and director of the upcoming The Amazing Spider-Man 2 are pledging to support one Earth Hour Blue crowd funding project each:

Andrew Garfield
(Peter Parker) has pledged to support A Flame Called Hope. The aim of this project is to provide clean and alternative biogas energy for 150 households in a village in Nepal’s Terai.

Emma Stone
(Gwen Stacy) has pledged to support Puppy Protectors. As a part of this project, WWF’s Asian Rhino and Elephant Action Strategy will adopt four German Shepherd puppies and train them for sniffer dog services. They will learn how to “track animals, find crime scenes, detect hidden wildlife products, avoid traps, and chase down poachers. When they are ready, they will become an official sniffer dog squad and go to work on the frontlines alongside the rangers, soldiers and conservationists of Chitwan National Park in Nepal.”

Jamie Foxx (Max Dillon/Electro) has pledged to support Light Up A Village. This project will support “600 families living around the Earth Hour Forest and help them to acquire energy efficient technologies and products. The purpose is to reduce their dependency and pressure on the newly planted Earth Hour Forest.”

Last, but not least, director Marc Webb is supporting Power Up A Ranger. The aim of this project is to provide better equipment for WWF Rangers who are risking their lives to protect Indonesia’s endangered wildlife including the Sumatran tiger, elephant rhino, orangutans and their natural habitats.

So, What Can You Do To Get Involved?

Earth Hour 2014 is on the 29th March from 8:30pm - 9:30pm, and getting involved is so very easy!

Whether you're an individual, a business, a school, a landmark, or an organisation, you can join in with the world's biggest celebration of our incredible planet by signing up here at the official WWF Earth Hour page. Simply follow the instructions and fill in your details. You can even put yourselves on the map, and see who else is getting involved in your area.

All you need to do on the day is switch everything off you possibly can; lights, televisions, chargers, computers, video games - if it's got a plug, turn it off! It's just for an hour and it will make a difference. The whole point of Earth Hour is to inspire you, and the people in your community, and across the globe, to reduce your energy consumption on a daily basis to help protect our beautiful world. Sitting in the dark for an hour for just a night is a start, but are there other ways you can reduce your energy consumption and carbon footprint?

Okay, What Else Can I Do? 

There are so many ways for you to save energy and make a difference to the planet you live on. This is where the Beyond the Hour campaign comes in to action. From the food we eat to the way we travel, everything we can do can be made more sustainable. The Beyond the Hour webpage offers some easy tips for changing your lifestyle minimally for a big impact, including:

For more ways to do your bit for the world, check out the WWF's list of easy lifestyle changes.

Will you be getting involved in Earth Hour 2014? We'd love to hear from you if you are - let us know what you're doing, and how you are going to help protect the world...

Articles Worth Checking Out:

40 Cities Before and During Earth Hour 2011 - Buzzfeed

Earth Hour FAQ's - WWF


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