Earth Hour 2021: How 60 Mins Effect a Change & What You Can Do!

When will Earth Hour be observed this year – and why must you participate?

Updated
Environment
5 min read
Every year, at 8.30 pm on the last Saturday in March, millions across the world come together to raise awareness for the need to protect the Earth better, by switching off lights for an hour – Earth Hour.
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Every year, at 8:30 pm on the last Saturday in March, millions across the world come together to raise awareness for the need to protect the Earth better, by switching off lights for an hour – Earth Hour.

This year, Earth Hour will be observed on Saturday, 27 March, from 8:30 pm to 9:30 pm.

The initiative, organised by the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), aims to raise awareness and inspire people to take concrete action on environmental issues and for them to Speak Up for Nature.

The result of this one hour, when people have switched off lights and lit candles instead, has been that entire streets and skylines have gone dark, sending a reminder to the world about the climate crisis and the huge losses to nature as cities march on a road to growth.

Due to the ongoing pandemic, Earth Hour this year, on 27 March, wants to raise awareness and create the same unmissable sight online through a Virtual Spotlight. The goal is simple, to make the world see our planet, the issues we face, and our place within it in a new light.

Earth Hour 2021: How 60 Mins Effect a Change & What You Can Do!

  1. 1. Through the Years: When Did Earth Hour Begin?

    Earth Hour first began as a lights-out event in Sydney, Australia in 2007, when WWF-Australia inspired citizens to voice their support for the climate. More than 2.2 million people and 2,000 businesses were part of what was the first Earth Hour event.

    Earth Hour was the product of a think tank initiated by Earth Hour Co-Founder Andy Ridley, which brought about a partnership between WWF-Australia, advertising agency Leo Burnett, and Fairfax Media, with the aim of addressing climate change.

    In 2007, climate change as a concept was still treated with a degree of skepticism and oft denied.

    Earth Hour was an idea that could bring people together, awaken them to the reality of climate change, and start a conversation about the possible means to help save the Earth.

    Therefore, Leo Burnett partnered with WWF to promote the idea and bring about the world’s first Earth Hour on 31 March 2007.

    In 2008, the campaign achieved wider support, with 35 countries and about 50 million people participating across the globe. Since then, Earth Hour has crossed borders and oceans and has garnered support in 190 countries and territories. As the movement grows, the one-hour lights out event has become a symbol of commitment towards nature and the Earth.

    Expand
  2. 2. Milestones in the India Campaign

    • In 2009, India observed its first Earth Hour, with 5 million people across 58 cities joining the movement. Prominent names such as the Reserve Bank of India and Air India buildings, as well as educational institutions such as Delhi University and Jamia Millia Islamia took part in the hour, with Delhi alone reportedly saving 700 MW of power. Aamir Khan was the first brand ambassador for Earth Hour India. The same year, globally, the reach of the movement increased to 88 countries and 4,000 cities.
    • In 2010, 128 cities and over 7 million people across India joined the initiative, which featured Abhishek Bachchan as the India ambassador. Globally, 128 countries came together for Earth Hour this year.
    • In 2011, Earth Hour India reached 130 cities in India, with prominent buildings including India Gate and Rashtrapati Bhawan switching off their lights.
    • In 2013, New Delhi became the Earth Hour national capital and managed to find a place among the Top 6 in the Earth Hour City Challenge.
    • Despite the difficulties, Earth Hour 2020 garnered support in a record-breaking 190 countries and territories, including India, and produced over 4.7 billion global social media impressions, the highest ever.
    Keeping in mind the restrictions under the coronavirus pandemic, Earth Hour 2020 was celebrated digitally instead of physically.

    This year Earth Hour will reach out to the audience with its message in seven languages and urge them to do their bit, as every action, big or small, adds up and makes a difference for our collective home.

    In addition, a five-day challenge (#iMeanGreen) will engage individuals at all levels, sharing simple yet impactful tips to live more sustainably, preserve the planet’s biodiversity, and fight against climate change.

    Expand
  3. 3. Save the Earth: What's the Importance of the Year 2021?

    After the jarring wake-up call from nature that was 2020, this year is a crucial one in terms of decisions taken to restore and rejuvenate the environment and the Earth.

    With many meetings having been postponed from 2020, a series of events and discussions related to climate change, nature, and development are scheduled to be held over the course of 2021.

    Among others, the 26th UN climate talks (COP26) and the 15th UN biodiversity conference (COP15) will see countries coming together to discuss goals for climate change and nature, for the decade starting now.

    World leaders will also meet at the G7 and G20 Leaders’ Summits, the United Nations General Assembly and the United Nations Environment Assembly, where they will discuss issues such as the road to recovery from the pandemic, climate change, environmental degradation, among others.

    According to a piece in the reputed journal Nature, in addition to the above, the UN will publish its second World Ocean Assessment in 2021. The year will also be the start of the UN’s Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development.

    “2021 must be the year to reconcile humanity with nature. Until now, we have been destroying our planet,” United Nations Secretary General António Guterres had said in his opening remarks in the ‘One Planet Summit’ for biodiversity organised by France in January 2021.
    Expand
  4. 4. Earth Hour 2021: What Can You Do?

    While Earth Hour specifically speaks only of one hour of commitment to save energy and thereby help the planet, the campaign and WWF’s larger objective is to get people involved and engaged enough to take action beyond the hour.

    These actions could be simply supporting a local WWF project or being a part of Earth Hour campaigns, beginning the movement in a community or joining in on other environmental organisations and their initiatives.

    “The vision is always to do more, so make the light switch the beginning of your journey,” WWF believes.

    Since 2007, WWF-Uganda has created an Earth Hour Forest, the world’s first such; Argentina has used its 2013 Earth Hour campaign to help pass a Senate bill for a 3.4 million hectare-large Marine Protected Area, and more than 2,123 mitigation actions were submitted by cities that participated in the 2014 Earth Hour City Challenge.

    So what can you do for Earth Hour? Of course, you can take part by switching off all non-essential lights from 8:30 pm to 9:30 pm on 27 March.

    You can also take part in Earth Hour’s first-ever ‘Virtual Spotlight’, wherein you’ll need to share a video that will be posted on all the Earth Hour social media pages. Why? To shine the spotlight on the planet’s issues and amplify the message.

    Whatever you choose to do and however you participate, the overarching importance is that of understanding, raising your voice, and spreading the message – that one must protect and restore nature for people and the planet.

    (The Quint is available on Telegram. For handpicked stories every day, subscribe to us on Telegram)

    Expand

Through the Years: When Did Earth Hour Begin?

Earth Hour first began as a lights-out event in Sydney, Australia in 2007, when WWF-Australia inspired citizens to voice their support for the climate. More than 2.2 million people and 2,000 businesses were part of what was the first Earth Hour event.

Earth Hour was the product of a think tank initiated by Earth Hour Co-Founder Andy Ridley, which brought about a partnership between WWF-Australia, advertising agency Leo Burnett, and Fairfax Media, with the aim of addressing climate change.

In 2007, climate change as a concept was still treated with a degree of skepticism and oft denied.

Earth Hour was an idea that could bring people together, awaken them to the reality of climate change, and start a conversation about the possible means to help save the Earth.

Therefore, Leo Burnett partnered with WWF to promote the idea and bring about the world’s first Earth Hour on 31 March 2007.

In 2008, the campaign achieved wider support, with 35 countries and about 50 million people participating across the globe. Since then, Earth Hour has crossed borders and oceans and has garnered support in 190 countries and territories. As the movement grows, the one-hour lights out event has become a symbol of commitment towards nature and the Earth.

Milestones in the India Campaign

  • In 2009, India observed its first Earth Hour, with 5 million people across 58 cities joining the movement. Prominent names such as the Reserve Bank of India and Air India buildings, as well as educational institutions such as Delhi University and Jamia Millia Islamia took part in the hour, with Delhi alone reportedly saving 700 MW of power. Aamir Khan was the first brand ambassador for Earth Hour India. The same year, globally, the reach of the movement increased to 88 countries and 4,000 cities.
  • In 2010, 128 cities and over 7 million people across India joined the initiative, which featured Abhishek Bachchan as the India ambassador. Globally, 128 countries came together for Earth Hour this year.
  • In 2011, Earth Hour India reached 130 cities in India, with prominent buildings including India Gate and Rashtrapati Bhawan switching off their lights.
  • In 2013, New Delhi became the Earth Hour national capital and managed to find a place among the Top 6 in the Earth Hour City Challenge.
  • Despite the difficulties, Earth Hour 2020 garnered support in a record-breaking 190 countries and territories, including India, and produced over 4.7 billion global social media impressions, the highest ever.
Keeping in mind the restrictions under the coronavirus pandemic, Earth Hour 2020 was celebrated digitally instead of physically.

This year Earth Hour will reach out to the audience with its message in seven languages and urge them to do their bit, as every action, big or small, adds up and makes a difference for our collective home.

In addition, a five-day challenge (#iMeanGreen) will engage individuals at all levels, sharing simple yet impactful tips to live more sustainably, preserve the planet’s biodiversity, and fight against climate change.

Save the Earth: What's the Importance of the Year 2021?

After the jarring wake-up call from nature that was 2020, this year is a crucial one in terms of decisions taken to restore and rejuvenate the environment and the Earth.

With many meetings having been postponed from 2020, a series of events and discussions related to climate change, nature, and development are scheduled to be held over the course of 2021.

Among others, the 26th UN climate talks (COP26) and the 15th UN biodiversity conference (COP15) will see countries coming together to discuss goals for climate change and nature, for the decade starting now.

World leaders will also meet at the G7 and G20 Leaders’ Summits, the United Nations General Assembly and the United Nations Environment Assembly, where they will discuss issues such as the road to recovery from the pandemic, climate change, environmental degradation, among others.

According to a piece in the reputed journal Nature, in addition to the above, the UN will publish its second World Ocean Assessment in 2021. The year will also be the start of the UN’s Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development.

“2021 must be the year to reconcile humanity with nature. Until now, we have been destroying our planet,” United Nations Secretary General António Guterres had said in his opening remarks in the ‘One Planet Summit’ for biodiversity organised by France in January 2021.

Earth Hour 2021: What Can You Do?

While Earth Hour specifically speaks only of one hour of commitment to save energy and thereby help the planet, the campaign and WWF’s larger objective is to get people involved and engaged enough to take action beyond the hour.

These actions could be simply supporting a local WWF project or being a part of Earth Hour campaigns, beginning the movement in a community or joining in on other environmental organisations and their initiatives.

“The vision is always to do more, so make the light switch the beginning of your journey,” WWF believes.

Since 2007, WWF-Uganda has created an Earth Hour Forest, the world’s first such; Argentina has used its 2013 Earth Hour campaign to help pass a Senate bill for a 3.4 million hectare-large Marine Protected Area, and more than 2,123 mitigation actions were submitted by cities that participated in the 2014 Earth Hour City Challenge.

So what can you do for Earth Hour? Of course, you can take part by switching off all non-essential lights from 8:30 pm to 9:30 pm on 27 March.

You can also take part in Earth Hour’s first-ever ‘Virtual Spotlight’, wherein you’ll need to share a video that will be posted on all the Earth Hour social media pages. Why? To shine the spotlight on the planet’s issues and amplify the message.

Whatever you choose to do and however you participate, the overarching importance is that of understanding, raising your voice, and spreading the message – that one must protect and restore nature for people and the planet.

(The Quint is available on Telegram. For handpicked stories every day, subscribe to us on Telegram)

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