Earth Hour 2021: Switch off lights for an hour

No matter where one is in the world, anyone can make an impact by switching off all non-essential lights for an hour, starting 8:30 PM on March 27, 2021.
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The world unites to celebrate Earth Hour at 8:30 PM on the last Saturday of March every year. This year, the occasion is being celebrated today on March 27, 2021. Organised by World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), Earth Hour sees millions of people across the globe switch off non-essential electric lights for an hour between 8:30 PM and 9:30 PM.

This gesture by individuals, communities, and businesses symbolises humanity’s commitment to the planet. Started as a lights-off event in Sydney back in 2007, Earth Hour has since then seen participation by famous landmarks around the globe including the Eiffel Tower, Sydney Opera House, Big Ben, the Colosseum, and the Empire State Building, among others.

History and significance of Earth Hour

This was originally started by WWF Australia as a one-off event on March 31, 2007. The lights off-event was later replicated by San Francisco in October of the same year. The following year, the world united to celebrate Earth Hour on March 29, 2008. It saw the participation of over 35 nations, and more than 400 cities. Even Google turned its search engine homepage ‘dark’ for the day.

The call for Earth Hour was to rally and join forces to raise awareness about the growing problem of climate change. India observed its first Earth Hour in 2009 with the participation of over five million people across 58 cities.

Last year, the event saw the participation of 190 countries despite the COVID-19 pandemic.

What’s happening this year?

WWF believes that 2021 brings with it an unmissable opportunity for change. It is bringing world leaders together to talk about crucial political discussions on climate action, nature, and sustainable development.

It adds, “With your support, Earth Hour 2021 could be a spotlight moment that puts nature at the centre of international conversations. Together, we can speak up and show world leaders and other decision-makers around the globe that nature matters, and urgent action must be taken to reverse nature loss.”

First-ever virtual spotlight

Earth Hour has seen millions of individuals, corporates, NGOs, and businesses join hands over the years. With entire streets, buildings, landmarks, and city skylines going dark, it is an unmissable sight that draws public attention to environmental damage and the climate crisis.

This year, in addition to switching off lights, WWF is inviting everyone to raise awareness and create the same unmissable sight online. It hopes that this will help the world see our planet, the issues we face, and our place within it, in a new light.

“Share the video far and wide, it's that simple! Share it to your Stories or to your wall, re-Tweet it, send it via DM or Messenger, @tag/mention friends in the comments - the choice is yours. Whether you share it with one person, ten people, or a hundred - remember, it all adds up! Use the hashtag #EarthHour when you can!” said the announcement on the Earth Hour website.

Edited by Anju Narayanan


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