Minutes to Read: 4 Minutes
You may have heard about turning your lights off for an hour once every year, but do you know the meaning behind it? How about the things you can do during that hour or even throughout the day?
Earth Hour has a lot more meaning behind why we turn off our lights and we’ve got some things you can do to make use of that time (or go beyond the hour).
- What is Earth Hour?
- What can I do during Earth Hour?
- What can I do to go beyond the hour?
What is Earth Hour?
The Earth Hour movement actually started as a lights-out event in Sydney, Australia back in 2007. Since then, the movement has grown to the point where so many of us across the world turn off our lights for one hour!
It always happens on the last Saturday of March (March 26 for Earth Hour 2022) and at 8:30 pm in your local time. Why? Because it’s when our two hemispheres have the closest sunset times. This makes having the lights out hard to not notice.
The Meaning Behind Turning Your Lights Off
Turning your lights off is one of the ways you and other supporters help not only bring awareness of energy consumption and environmental issues we face but also get us to act. It brings us together and leads the changes we need for our planet!
The Earth Hour movement has led to various accomplishments over the 15 years it has been around.
What Difference Has It Made?
There’s more than we can keep track of but here’s a list of some from the Earth Hour website in case you’re curious:
- WWF-Uganda created the world’s first Earth Hour Forest
- More than 250,000 Russians voiced support for better protection of their country’s seas and forests
- Argentina used its 2013 Earth Hour campaign to help pass a Senate bill for a 3.4 million hectares Marine Protected Area in the country
- Solar-powered lights were installed in three villages without electricity in India
- More than 2,123 mitigation actions submitted by Earth Hour City Challenge 2014 participating cities
What can I do during Earth Hour?
If you're thinking what to do for Earth Hour 2022, here are 7 things you can do with the lights off:
1. Go For a Walk: Take the time to check out your local parks or walk around your neighbourhood. Explore and reconnect with nature, more so if the warmer weather of spring has reached your city.
2. Have a Candle Lit Dinner: Cook up a meal and dine in the dark to the light of candles. It isn't just for those romantic dinners and it's a nice way to spend a Saturday evening.
3. Catch up with family and friends. Reconnect and spend time with those you love! You can always do the other things with them on this list too.
4. Play board or card games. We’re always on our phones and devices so changing it up and having a bit of a break doesn’t hurt. Try playing a few rounds of a board game or play some cards!
5. Journal or Read a Book. If you’re not catching up with your loved ones, it’s also a good time to catch up with yourself after a long week. Whether it’s reading a book or writing out a journal entry, this kind of self-care is definitely something you can welcome.
6. Take Camping in Doors. Pull out a small tent or make one with blankets and cozy up.
7. Stargaze. The best part with having fewer of those lights on? Having a better view of the stars! Taking a step outside and being under the stars can be a great way to relax.
What Can I Do to Go Beyond the Hour?
To go beyond the hour, you can take the list above and take it further by getting putting in the time to learn more about what you can do for our planet like watching a documentary or reading an environmental book. You can also take a look into how you can help your community by volunteering. But a good one to consider for this Saturday are the events your city may have!
Cities like Toronto or Calgary are hosting different events that happening throughout the day and you can find the same for others. Here’s some in these cities that are organized by local WWF/Earth Hour country teams:
Head down to the “Turning off the lights and dance in the dark” event at the CN Tower! You can join in for the hour in person or virtually during the hour.
Held at the Calgary Central Library downtown starting at 7 pm, you can join in to watch presentations, play games, and see different exhibits. At 8:30 pm, the lights go out and the dance party begins!
For more information on these events and to see if there’s something happening in your city, check out earthhour.org/take-part/events.
Make It Your Own
Whether you decide to stay in or go out, make sure you do what works for you and the time you have for the day. It is completely okay to keep it small and simple!
Small steps are what lead to changes, just like how one event in Australia turned into something we all know and join in on.
Check out our Instagram for more about us and what we're up to!
- Tags: Earth Hour