Earth Hour launched in Sydney in 2007, with 2.2 million people switching off their lights in participation.
Just one year later, it reached 35 countries and an estimated 50-100 million people participated in the ‘lights out’ event. Earth Hour had unexpectedly become a global phenomenon.
The symbolic hour has grown into the world’s largest grassroots movement to draw attention to climate change and is now celebrated in over 172 countries. This year will mark Earth Hour’s 10th anniversary and with the continued support of WWF, marks 10 years of climate action progress.
I myself haven’t participated in this event the last couple of years. Not because I dismiss it as a tokenistic gesture that doesn’t have any real impact or influence on human behaviour (although the more I think about it, the more it starts to seem that way given how slow the uptake is for Western consumers particularly to move to renewables…) but because my organic farm is fully run on solar power. Quite frankly, I’m already ‘doing my bit’ for a renewable energy future; technically I should really be calling it my renewable energy present.
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As it’s the 10th anniversary however, the least I can do is switch off the lights as a show of support to this wonderful cause. So that’s what I’ll do. Maybe I’ll throw a bonfire to mark the occasion. With 120-acres at my disposal it’s no real biggie.
The idea for Earth Hour was originally pioneered in Australia so it’s no surprise that an estimated 1 in every 4 Australians take part. Last year, according to the Earth Hour website, a staggering 6 million Aussies switched off the lights! Why the huge numbers you’re wondering? To explain Earth Hour’s high rate of participation in Australia one only need to observe the Australian love of the great outdoors. So it’s natural that we Aussies support events and policies that protect our natural environment – after all, we spend so much of our time in it!
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Anyway, if you’re looking to celebrate Earth Hour, it’s on Saturday March 25 at 8:30pm (tomorrow night for those of you who reside in Australia). You can throw a bonfire like me or if that’s not possible, light up some candles or spend the hour underneath the stars. Or if you’re really game, enjoy the hour in pure darkness. Whatever tickles your fancy.
So let’s come together in solidarity to switch off our lights and show support for a low-pollution, clean energy, sustainable future. Will you join us for this event? And more importantly, will you join me and make the switch to renewable energy?