By now, you’ve seen the posters and the other ads on TV and on the Internet. Turn off your lights for 60 minutes, beginning at 8:30PM on Saturday, March 27, for Earth Hour, they say.
But what is Earth Hour, really? For some, it’s an annoying 60 minutes in which the world (or at least the electronic parts of it ) goes dark because someone you live or work with is a participant. But for the hundreds of millions of worldwide participants (your friends, family members, or colleagues included), it’s all about taking those 60 minutes of discomfort and inconvenience to give the planet a chance and take a stand toward promoting a sustainable low carbon future for our planet, Earth—thus, Earth Hour.
Organized by the WWF—the World Wildlife Fund, not to be confused with the World Wrestling Federation—this movement is on its fourth year and, in its stand against global climate change (read: global warming), has already earned the distinction of being the largest environmental event in history.
Want to know more? Read on!
EARTH HOUR THROUGH THE YEARS—ALL FOUR OF THEM
Earth Hour was a phenomenon that found its birth in the land down under, just like Kylie Minogue, Cate Blanchett, and Eric Bana. It started in Sydney, Australia, in 2007, when 2.2 million homes and businesses switched off their lights for one hour in a definitive protest against climate change.
By 2008, Earth Hour had exploded onto the international stage as a movement promoting global sustainability. The intervening year saw 35 countries and over 50 million people participating—as did Toronto’s CN Tower, San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge, Sydney’s Harbour Bridge, and Rome’s Coliseum, and other iconic landmarks around the world.
By 2009, the number of participants had swelled into the hundreds of millions, and the number of participating countries more than doubled to 88. From its birth in a single city in 2007, Earth Hour became the world’s largest global climate change initiative, and it was observed in over four thousand cities.
Earth Hour 2010 is scheduled for 8:30 to 9:30 PM local time on March 27, Saturday. In over 100 countries across the world, iconic landmarks, huge skyscrapers, and large buildings will be going dark for 60 minutes in this annual stand against climate change. But so will individual homes, apartments, and condominiums, because this is a call to action for every individual, regardless of location, culture, affinities, or position in life.
EARTH HOUR IN THE PHILIPPINES
The Philippines is on its third year of celebrating climate change solutions with Earth Hour, and the target for this year is a staggering (staggeringly inspiring, that is) 15 million Filipinos across over 1,000 towns, cities, and municipalities who will be participating in the great annual switch off. Note that in 2008 and 2009, the Philippines ranked number one in terms of town and city Earth Hour participation, with over 10 million Filipinos in 647 cities and municipalities going dark last year. This saved an estimated 611MWh of electricity.
HOW YOU CAN SUPPORT THE MOVEMENT
This should be obvious—turn off your lights for the hour between 8:30 and 9:30 PM this Saturday, March 27, 2010. But you can do more! Here’s how:
Register Your Participation
Yes, you’re joining, but part and parcel of taking a stand against something is letting people know that you’re taking that stand, so sign up by registering at the Earth Hour Philippines website to acknowledge that, you’re switching off for Earth Hour 2010. On the site, you can also add yourself to the world map.
You can also register to receive mobile phone updates by sending a text message with the following content to 5777 for both Smart and Globe cellular phone users: green reg [first name]/[middle initial]/[last name], where items in brackets are to be filled in with your particular information (with the brackets removed). So, for example, you might text in: "green reg Maria/C/Cruz."
Tell Others about Earth Hour
You can spread the word about Earth Hour online by writing about it in your blog, on your Facebook wall or status, tweeting or Plurking about it, putting a Twibbon on your profile picture, and so on. You can also use the free-to-use widgets, logos, and banners from the Earth Hour site on your blog or website.
You can also work with your local community or even just your family and friends to host an Earth Hour event, such as a candlelit Earth Hour party.
For more events related to Earth Hour, check out Spot.PH's feature.
(Photo courtesy of EarthHour.org)