Friday, March 26, 2010

The Business of Earth Hour and the Power of Social Media

Earth Hour is the world's largest event calling for action on climate change. This Saturday 27 March at 8.30 PM (local time), businesses will join people all around the world to turn off their lights for one hour to show that solutions to the threat of global warming are possible through collective action.

Earth Hour started in 2007 in Sydney, Australia when 2.2 million homes and businesses turned their lights off for one hour to make their stand against climate change. In 2008, Earth Hour had become a global sustainability movement with more than 50 million people across 35 countries participating. Global landmarks, including the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, and the Colosseum in Rome, went dark, as a symbol of hope for a cause that grows more urgent by the hour.

In March 2009, hundreds of millions of people around the world took part in the third Earth Hour. Over 4000 cities in a record setting 88 countries switched off their lights for one hour to pledge their support for the planet.

This year, 92 countries have already made the pledge for Earth Hour to show the world what can be done to fight climate change. This year promises to be the biggest and best Earth Day in the event's short history, proving that environmental issues are able to unite people from all continents and every walk of life. The success of Earth Hour is not only due to the prescience of the climate change issue, it is also due to the power of social media.

Earth Hour has relied on social media to communicate its message to millions of people, businesses and organizations around the world. They employ all the major social networking sites including, Twitter, YouTube, Facebook, and My Space. At the WWF Earth Hour site you will also find tools for blogs and webpages.

Earth Hour underscores the importance of socially responsible business and the growing importance of cause marketing. In the wake of the recession, the need for greater efficiency and the widespread consumer support for the environment make sustainability an unavoidable bottom line issue. Businesses that incorporate sustainable practices are afforded some priceless PR. Many businesses know this and consequently they are increasingly eager to get involved with environmental events.

The big brands participating in Earth Hour this year include IKEA, HSBC, Canon, Hilton. To get your business involved, register to join Earth Hour and download the Blueprint for Businesses and Corporations. Here are a few simple steps you can take to help reduce your business's impact on the environment:

Replace incandescent light bulbs with fluorescent ones.
Buy reusable dishware to reduce waste.
Start recycling and ask employees to participate.
Organize community service days for employees to clean a park or public space.
Subscribe to online newspapers to reduce paper waste.
Teleconference, instead of commuting to meetings.
Turn off the lights when they are not needed.

Earth Hour welcomes inquiries from businesses that would like to know more about how they can support Earth Hour. For more information email Earth Hour at

Earth Hour is also a good opportunity to call for comprehensive energy and climate legislation in the US. Because the US accounts for one quarter of the world's economy, American legislation is crucial to the welfare of the planet and it inhabitants. Despite President Obama's earnest support for climate and energy legislation, we have yet to see a vote in the Senate (although an early version of a climate and energy bill passed in the House last year).

Pledge your support and don't forget to turn off your lights for one hour, Earth Hour, 8.30 PM, Saturday March 27, 2010.

Next: China Participates in Earth Hour

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Anne Michelsne said...

I love it! I'm planning to participate - and I'll spread the word as well!

10000 memories said...

I support!

Anonymous said...

I am so happy to see so much involvement this year. I truly believe that social media and business are helping to bring Earth Hour's message to the mainstream.

The Danish House said...

We are proud to declare our involvement in Earth Hour and we strongly encourage other local businesses to follow suit and turn off their lights tonight. Thank you Green Market for showing how small businesses can make a difference, one step at a time!

gay person of character said...

What a great opportunity to have a play date in the dark!