Friday, March 28, 2014

Earth Hour - An Introduction for the Uninitiated

Earth Hour is a worldwide grassroots movement uniting people to protect the planet. Organized by WWF, Earth Hour is a global call to action that engages a massive mainstream community on a broad range of environmental issues.. This annual event is celebrated by hundreds of millions of people around the world making it the largest environmental action in history. In 2014 the event takes place on Saturday March 29th. At 8.30 pm in your local time zone. At that time people across the globe will switch off the lights of their homes and businesses for one hour.

On this day people around the world come together to collectively ‘Use Our Power’ and to make the commitment to take action and take better care of the planet in the year ahead. We only have one planet. You can help protect it by switching off your lights in a collective display of commitment to create a better future for the planet.

Earth Hour is held on the second-to-last and last weekend of March as this is around the time of the Spring and Autumn equinoxes in the northern and southern hemispheres respectively. This allows for near coincidental sunset times in both hemispheres, thereby ensuring the greatest visual impact for a global ‘lights out’ event.

The standard Earth Hour '60' logo represents the 60 minutes of Earth Hour where we focus on the impact we are having on our planet and take positive action to address the environmental issues we face. For Earth Hour 2011 the ‘60+’ logo was introduced representing a commitment to add to Earth Hour a positive act for the planet that goes beyond the hour. This year Earth Hour has added Blue, a new crowdsourcing tool. 

Earth Hour came from a think tank initiated by Earth Hour CEO and Co-Founder, Andy Ridley, resulting in the formation of a partnership between WWF Australia, Leo Burnett and Fairfax Media to address the climate change issue.

In 2007, there was still a degree of scepticism and denial about the issue of climate change. Earth Hour came as the inspiration to rally people to the reality of climate change and start a dialogue about what we as individuals can do to help address the greatest problem facing our planet today. Leo Burnett partnered with WWF to promote the idea and help make the campaign a reality in Sydney, a campaign which has now gone beyond climate change to symbolise the growing global pursuit of a better, healthier world.

Earth Hour aims to encourage an interconnected global community to share the opportunities and challenges of creating a sustainable world.

Some of the world’s most famous man-­‐made marvels and natural wonders, including China’s Forbidden City, Eiffel Tower, Table Mountain, the Great Pyramids of Egypt, Buckingham Palace, Brazil’s Christ the Redeemer statue, Niagara and Victoria Falls, the Empire State Building, the Sydney Opera House and many more global icons have gone dark on Earth Hour as a powerful symbol of landmark environmental action.

In 2014 there are more than 2123 mitigation actions that were submitted by Earth Hour City Challenge.
Some of the projects supported by Earth Hour include,
  • Helping to re-­‐build a sustainable fishing community in typhoon affected Philippines
  • Supporting forests in Uganda
  • Supporting local communities as guardians of the Amazon
  • Protecting the Great Barrier Reef

These efforts leverage the power of social media and are widely disseminated through a vast array of online platforms and communities ( #EarthHour and #YourPower )

Earth Hour provides an excellent forum for all citizens, including business, individuals, parents and educators, to hold meaningful discussions about the ways that our communities can take action and be part of the solution to our environmental challenges.

Earth Hour affords an opportunity to look at ways to waste less and diminish our ecological footprint – both at home and in the workplace. This event enables people to unite behind a common purpose that demonstrates that we can make a meaningful difference. Above all, Earth Hour is about making a commitment to change.

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