Lights Off! It’s Earth Hour

Lights Off! It’s Earth Hour

Have you got your diary handy? A calendar? Your phone? If you do could you write an important reminder for the 28th March: Earth Hour 8:30 pm.

You also might want to make a sub note: buy some candles.

Earth Hour is a movement that began in Sydney back in 2007. Although just shy of only a decade old, the movement’s rise has been nothing short of phenomenal. Earth Hour has inspired the world over and has been embraced by 162 countries and territories worldwide. In fact, last year it became the world’s largest mass participation event of all time. It is safe to say, the Earth Hour movement is brilliant in its simplicity.

Parented by the WWF, the movement encourages individuals and businesses; even cities make the pledge to switch off their lights for an hour. Just one hour out of the year, in an effort to raise awareness about Climate Change and the protection of our planet. As you can see in the video below, last year’s movement alone produced strikingly visual statements, as iconic landmarks such as the Sydney harbor Bridge and the Eiffel Tower were suddenly plunged into darkness.

As millions made the choice to switch off, the Internet lit up with over 1.2 BILLION mentions of the hashtag #EarthHour. The message was resounding: The citizens of the world are united for action on climate change. Stage 1: ‘Bring people together for a symbolic hour-long event’ of the Earth Hour movement has well and truly been met. Stage 2 of Earth Hour: Galvanise people into taking action beyond the hour, has been making major progress here in Australia.

As an addition to 2014’s Earth Hour, a documentary was screened on national TV and at locations in Sydney, Melbourne and Perth. The documentary entitled, “Lights out for the Reef” highlighted the importance of protecting our beautiful Great Barrier Reef against proposed dredging and dumping plans. The documentary kick started a media frenzy, with 2,000 known media articles published and a highly successful #iheartthereef Instagram campaign. Although progress has been made in delaying dredging plans, further work is still to be done and the Earth Hour team is committed to fight for our reef to the end.

Stage 3 of the Earth Hour movement is to ‘create an interconnected global community sharing the mutual goal of creating a sustainable future for the planet.’ With the astronomical number of participants worldwide for last year’s event, the movement in itself is the perfect example of one person catalyzing massive change.

700px - earth-hour-1

To make such an impact in such a short space of years is something I personally find inspiring and if you agree with me then here is how to make a difference for the 2015 Earth Hour: Firstly, register an event or find an event near you. If you prefer a quiet night in, that’s fine! But if you can be sure to pop up a picture on social media or just tell a friend about it. Raising awareness to even just one person can make all the difference.

This year’s theme of “Food and Farming” is an issue that is important for all Australians, not just those in farming regions. Global warming is already beginning to affect areas of Australia, altering rainfall and temperature patterns. As someone who has experienced prolonged drought living in a rural area, I encourage everyone to join the movement and show your support for Aussie Farmers. All it takes is a simple conversation and the switch of a light.

First published on 27th March 2015 on RiAus – Australia’s Science Channel

Feature image sourced from Inspiration Room.
Body image 1 sourced from Nuclear News.

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