Saturday, March 25 2017 marks the tenth anniversary of the Earth Hour, the global movement to turn off non-essential lights for one hour for a day as a way of showing commitment to climate change and the environment. Promoted by the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), Earth Hour is celebrated around the world, with major landmarks such as Eiffel Tower and Empire State Building turning off the lights for an hour. Here’s what you need to know about Earth Hour 2017:
Earth Hour 2017 date and time
This year, Earth Hour will be celebrated on March 25, and will start at 8:30pm (the event is not celebrated simultaneously across the world, and the lights are turned off at 8:30pm local time). Earth Hour 2017 participants should turn off non-essential lights at their homes for an hour.
To show solidarity for the event and promote it among their friends, participants can choose to switch their Facebook profile picture with an Earth Hour frame, or choose to make a donation. Earth Hour-based cover photos for Facebook, Twitter and Google+, as well as animated email signature are also available on the official website. You can also download the Earth Hour starter kit to promote it in areas around you, or on your website by using the official event banner.
Earth Hour facts you should know
As a global movement, Earth Hour has seen major landmarks and involvement from all centres of power, from governments and monarchs to celebrities. Here are some interesting Earth Hour facts you should keep note of:
- Earth Hour started in 2007 in Sydney, Australia as a lights-off event, and has been organised at a global scale since 2008 by the WWF.
- In 2016, Earth Hour was celebrated at more than 12,700 landmarks across 172 countries; 2.5 million people participated in the event
- As part of Earth Hour initiative, solar powered lights have been installed in three villages without electricity in India
- WWF Uganda as part of the Earth Hour 2013 commitment took up the task of planting 500,000 trees to counter deforestation in the country, while commitment to plant 1 million trees was made by former Botswana President Festus Mogae
- The campaign helped the Argentine Senate pass a bill for 3.4 million-hectare Marine Protected Area
- 1,000 wood-saving stoves were distributed to victims as part of Earth Hour commemorations to the victims of cyclone Haruna in Madagascar
- Earth Hour has helped WWF Russia raise $106,0000 to protect snow leopards, Siberian tigers, polar bears, and other endangered animals
- WWF partnered with Sony for the release of The Amazing Spider-Man 2 to raise money for protection of pandas as part of its Earth Hour initiative
- Leaders such as Nelson Mandela, Ban Ki-moon, Kumi Naidoo, Al Gore, and celebrities such as Miranda Kerr, Stephen Fry, Yoko Ono, and Cate Blanchett have supported the cause
- Earth Hour is not aimed at reducing energy consumption, but instead is promoted as a means to create a dialogue on climate change and the environment protection