It’s that time again! Now in its seventh year, the global Earth Hour event continues to spread awareness about climate change and encourage communities to take action. On March 23, 2013, thousands of cities across the world will extinguish their non-essential lights. This self-imposed blackout signifies a commitment to the planet, to conserving energy, and most of all, to each other.
As so many skeptics are fond of pointing out, no, turning off all the lights in your house for one hour won’t stop climate change. But the act of turning off the lights is about more than just conserving energy.
“Earth Hour believes that the symbolism of the hour is important in bringing people and communities together across the globe. But our aspiration from the beginning was to go far beyond the hour itself,” write the event’s organizers. Although Earth Hour culiminates in a 60 minute event each March, the organization is in full gear all year long, helping to advance efforts that fight climate change and encourage more responsible behavior around the globe.
Earth Hour 2012 took place in more than 7001 cities and towns in 152 countries and territories across all seven continents. Hundreds of millions of people switched their lights off for an hour, and the campaign experienced its biggest growth since 2009.
Also in 2012, Earth Hour launched the I Will If You Will, a platform to incentivize and inspire individuals to share their commitment to the planet with their friends, colleagues, leaders and networks. Earth Hour also encourages and promotes many other initiatives around the world, including the Earth Hour City Challenge, the Earth Hour People’s Projects and many national and local actions that take the campaign beyond the hour.
Want to get involved? There are lots of ways to participate, as an individual, community or business.
- Join the Global Earth Hour Community to accept an “I will if you will” challenge, RSVP to a local event or plan your own with friends.
- Businesses and organizations are encouraged to create their own “I will if you will” challenge, host an event, or becoming an Earth Hour sponsor.
- Build excitement and awareness in your community by posting Earth Hour badges and online pledge banners, and sharing videos and other media on social networking sites.
Looking for ways to support live the Earth Hour principles long after the lights come back on? These Care2 posts can help:
Image via Earth Hour