On Saturday, March 26th, over 190 countries will unite at 8:30 pm in their local time to turn off their lights and spend an hour reflecting on their consumption of Earth’s resources and commit to helping the planet. This event is known as “Earth Hour.”
Earth Hour was started in 2007 by the World Wildlife Federation in Sydney, Australia, to raise awareness of climate change impacts on nature and biodiversity. As more countries participate in Earth Hour, more landmarks “go dark” around the world to show their support. Landmarks such as; The Eiffel Tower, Big Ben, Burj Khalifa, even the great pyramids of Egypt turn off their lights in support of climate action!
Every year, Earth Hour has a theme dedicated to the hour to raise awareness of different climate change-related impacts on the planet. This year, the theme is #ShapeOurFuture. Participants are asked to take the hour as a reflection on how they can individually work on their impact on climate change. Other years have had themes focusing on biodiversity, self-improvement, sustainability, and positive individual change towards reducing one’s carbon footprint.
With #ShapeOurFuture, Earth Hour is asking participants to look towards the planet’s future by taking initiatives in their personal life. Taking an initiative can be as simple as bringing your own grocery bag, skipping the straw at a coffee shop, taking the bus to work, and doing laundry in cold water. Earth Hour is a moment to promote and remind us that reducing an individual’s personal impact does not have to be a significant lifestyle change, just a small tweak to something one might already do in their routine for the better!
Why Earth Hour Is Important
Every individual that participates in Earth Hour makes one small positive change towards global warming. Everyone who takes part is showing their support for fighting climate change and reducing our global carbon footprint for the benefit of both the people and the planet of the future.
Things to do during Earth Hour
While participating in Earth Hour, people are not expected to just sit in the dark in silence! Participants can do many things to appreciate the earth while still reducing their electricity output for an hour. With it now being Springtime, why not go for a walk or check out a local park! Stay in, light some candles and cook a nice meal. If you live with family or roommates, you can pull out a board game to enjoy!
Not everything has to be turned off for Earth Hour! Why not enjoy a documentary about the earth, such as one of the fine films produced by Plastic Oceans? Some provinces are even hosting local events again to celebrate Earth hour together in person for the first time in three years! Click here for a list of local events in Canada for Earth Hour 2022
Earth Hour Reports
Last year Earth Hour had participation from over 192 registered countries and 9.6 billion social media impressions from people across the globe celebrating the hour! Every year Earth Hour grows more and more popular, showing the global demand from individuals seeking action towards climate change and protecting our planet!
Canada and Earth Hour
Historically Canada sadly has not been the best role model with Earth Hour. Canada does not feature any major event highlighting Earth Hour like some other countries do, and in 2008 Calgary, Alberta, was labelled “the Worst participant” as energy usage between 8:30 pm – 9:30 pm was actually up 4%. British Columbia also reported an increase in electricity during the hour in 202. Let’s be better this year and go back to being a leader in social change and climate change awareness!
What You Can Do To Take Part In Earth Hour (And Beyond!)
After Earth Hour, there are plenty of ways to reduce your personal environmental impact and not have them impact your day-to-day. Some minor tweaks and changes can lead to a more sustainable future.
A change in diet such as eating less food that relies on industry such as meat and dairy, choosing locally grown seasonal foods reduces the amount of carbon used to ship each item to the store. On the other hand, food waste is another significant impact on an individual’s footprint. Try to avoid buying bulk food items if you do not plan on eating it all before they expire. If not, try to freeze the food to preserve as much as you can for future meals. Try to compost what you throw out, as composting creates a second life for wasted food.
Travelling can be a huge emissions factor; try to walk, bike, or take the bus to where you need to go instead of driving alone. If you drive, try to plan the most direct route and check your tire pressure before going! Did you know that even something as unsuspecting as uneven tires consume more fuel while travelling?
In the grocery store? Try to bring your own tote bags with you for shopping to reduce plastic use. Bring your own water bottle with you as well as cutlery and containers for leftovers and meals to reduce the use of single-use plastics. Remember to try and avoid beauty and toiletry products that contain microbeads, as these are a leading contributor to microplastic waste!
Remember to turn off lights in rooms where you are not using them and shut off the taps as well! Do laundry only when you have a full load, try to take shorter, colder showers, bring a watering can into the shower and use the water from that to water your plants!
Other energy-efficient ways to reduce your impact include skipping the dryer for natural air drying of your laundry, avoiding touching the thermostat, and throwing on a sweater!
These are just some of the many ways you can reduce your impact on the earth! Do you have any methods you use to reduce your impact? Let us know below!