Home > Science & environment > What is Earth Hour, how is it marked, and how can you take part?

What is Earth Hour, how is it marked, and how can you take part?

For just one-hour homes and landmarks across the world will switch off their lights, and try to save the planet.

The campaign hopes to inspire mass environmental action.

Earth Hour is an annual event which asks individuals to turn off all non-essential lights, at 8.30pm March 30.

The aim is to encourage people to become educated about and speak up on issues such as sustainable lifestyles, plastic-free oceans, deforestation and water conservation

This year the event has particular relevance as it is the first event since a UN report announced that there are only twelve years left in which to prevent devastating climate change.

The event also comes at a time where more people are backing environmental causes and campaigning for government to do more towards sustainability.

‘For the planet’, Earth Hour in Madagascar has already occurred. © Tony Rakotondramanana 

Heini Evans, from WWF Cymru said, “There’s certainly an appetite for it [Earth Hour]. It’s just really important we have a voice.”

Supplementary events have taken place across south Wales, with events in Merthyr and Parc Penallta seeing over 550 volunteers working on projects like Heads4Arts’ floating gardens campaign.

Kate Strudwick, creative project manager with the community building arts and crafts organisation, said the environment was the most important project going on anywhere.

“If we can use the arts to to get that across in more engaging ways, then we should do it,” said Strudwick.

The floating gardens campaign hopes to attract pollinators and encourage participants to seek positive solutions, by being ‘imaginative about wildflower gardens.’ Through participatory arts activities, Heads4Arts are hopeful they can raise public awareness and prompt positive action.

Heads4Arts also saw people produce incredible lanterns like this Elephant. © Breaking Barriers Community Arts

The World Wide Fund (WWF) for nature claims 90% of participants say they feel encouraged to work further to protect the environment.

Though the event is a once-a-year occasion, the hope is that tonight’s activities will encourage more regular practice of environmentally beneficial behaviours.

 

Earth Hour 2019 celebrations in the Maldives. © Nawaz Asad

 

“Most of our work is family focused,” said Strudwick. “But we’re trying to get people to enjoy it at every level and getting children to become ambassadors.”

In the wake of recent youth climate strikes, campaigners are optimistic about the future of environmentalism.

This year WWF Cymru asked people to make small pledges that could help reduce individual carbon emissions.
Here are five easy ways you can continue save the world:
“Washing at the lowest possible temperature helps you to cut CO2 emissions, save energy and help the environment.” according to the I prefer 30 campaign.
Reducing the amount of water we use daily is also good reason to take shorter showers, and avoid baths.
Climate scientists and environmentalists around the world continue to state that avoiding meat and dairy products is the single biggest way to reduce your environmental impact on the planet.
If you want something more practical, InterCardiff can show you how to make seed bombs.
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