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What Is Earth Hour?

Updated on April 18, 2012

Earth hour is an annual global event organised by the World Wide Fund for Nature (also known as World Wildlife Fund and WWF) on every last Saturday of the month of March.

This event is aimed at sensitising people on the effects of climate change, by encouraging them to switch off all non essential light bulbs for a one hour period.

WWF aims to protect endangered wildlife and environments, tackle climate change and promotes sustainable use of resources.

The History Of Earth Hour

The idea of the earth hour started off in Australia where WWF Australia liaised with Leo Burnett Sydney to seek a solution of climate change in Australia. This idea took a large scale dimension in 2006 after it started receiving major global attention.

Eventually this event was rolled out globally and in the year 2007 on March 31st (at exactly 7.30 pm) in the city of Sydney the event took off to the amazement of the entire world. Since then the whole idea was adopted by other major world cities and by 2008, the concept behind this event had spread out far and wide.

This year (2012), the earth hour was held between 8.30 pm and 9.30 pm due to the difference in the participating cities' local time. This event received further popularity boost from the social media platform and hence creating a bigger impact than any of the other preceding events.

In 2013, this event shall be held on the 30th day of March 2013; which will be on a Saturday.

Climate Action Now
Climate Action Now

UK Earth Hour 2012

In the United Kingdom, several renowned landmarks took part in commemorating this great event. Among them: Tower bridge, Clifton Suspension Bridge, Wembley Stadium, St Paul's Cathedral, HMS Victory and The Edinburgh Castle.

Across the UK, dance floors were lit up, street dance jubilations hit the air and the stars from The Britain's Got Talent TV show added to the moment. Efforts went a notch further in UK primary schools after the launch of the community challenge competition. This motivated the future generation to appreciate the efforts of conserving energy in order to reduce the effects of climate change.

In parliament buildings, this event was marked with a spectacular 200 guest WWF meeting held in the Great hall. The event featured a cabaret show from Cahoots NI theatre, a memorable performance from Sky 1's dance finalists Razzle dazzle and when the lights were switched off, the elite guest were taken through a torch lit WWF panda tour of the parliament buildings.

In Scotland, the celebration mainly featured school children who laid out LED Tea Lights to spell the words "Climate Action Now." This event took place at the landmark Edinburgh castle which also switched off its light in the commemoration of this event. This efforts were complemented by an outdoor theatre (Falkirk), A manual powered cinema (Kirkcaldy) and a night time wildlife walk in Syke.

Earth Hour China
Earth Hour China
Big Ben Before / During Earth Hour
Big Ben Before / During Earth Hour
Earth Hour Asia
Earth Hour Asia

How Did The Rest Of The World Mark This Event?

The global community welcomed this event in a memorable way. In fact, an astonishing new record was set this time round as the event received support from Algeria, French Guinea, Libya and Bhutan.

Here is how the event was commemorated in other areas of the world.

This small island nation played a unique role in ushering in the Earth Hour 2012. Lights went off starting 7.30 am in UK time. In the previous event (2011), Samoa had been the last to switch off its lights. This country is located along the international date line.

At the Great Wall (China) hundreds of campus students joined the International Ambassador for Earth Hour Li Bing Bing in pledging their unending support for the event beyond 2012.

In Korea, 74202 buildings light's went off. The on goings of this event were received by a great following on twitter in the entire South Eastern Asia country.

In Kathmandu Nepal, the event received immense support from the six world renowned monasteries. This support was backed up by over 100,000 youth and seven musicians who took part in an ambitious tree planting process aiming to plant a million trees by 2020.

In Jakarta Indonesia, the event mostly played out in the social media. Here, the launch of I Will If You Will campaign received a spark with its participants propelling grassroots campaigns from across the landmark Indonesian archipelago. Renowned local celebrity Jessica Iskandar and Titi DJ graced this event by emphasising their commitment to this worthy cause via YouTube.

This time round, the Earth hour celebrations hit an all time high after it was marked beyond the stretches of the earth's atmosphere. This was the first time ever for this event to be watched from space.

According to Andre Kuipers (an astronaut and WWF awareness ambassador) highlighted this event by acknowledging that there was no better way to sensitise the world on the importance of taking good care of our environment. By viewing this event live from space, the impact of switching off the lights for an hour is measurable and real.

Celebrity Endorsements

Earth Hour has so far consolidated numerous worldwide celebrity endorsements. Among the big names endorsing this event include:

Miranda Kerr
This Australia based celebrity took the sensitisation campaigns a notch higher through yoga classes that were aimed at persuading the world to switch off their lights.

Bill Granger
This world renowned Bill's Tasty weekend writer also endorsed the efforts of this worthy cause. Bill Granger acknowledged the important role that this WWF initiative plays in the restoration of our environments lost sanctity.

This event has so far received much boost from the world's most trusted search engine Google. Through Google, this event has received much publicity due to a thorough exposure that it receives to most online users. In 2008, the Google homepage run on a black background in UK, Canada, USA, Denmark and Ireland in a bid to sensitise people on the need to switch off any unnecessary bulbs.

More Photos From Earth Hour 2012

TV Channel Endorsements

Major world TV channels have extensively covered this event hence giving it the maximum attention that it requires.

Special segments for this event have been created in:

  • NBC nightly News
  • The Oprah Winfrey Show
  • CNN
  • Good Morning America
  • The Weather Channel.

Most interestingly, on TV Ontario, one of its renowned programs "The Agenda" once ran only on candle light to celebrate this great event.

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      Vanolis 6 years ago

      seems more like crime hour to me, almost like now it's the time for robbing houses. Don't get me wrong I love nature and that's why I think it deserves more than an hour ;)

    • CandleBags profile image

      Lewis Sellers 6 years ago from Harrogate, North Yorkshire, United Kingdom

      Thanks for the comment. You seem to share similar views to myself. It's an amazing event really and some of the photos on Flickr and the videos are phenomenal. I'm glad you liked the Hub!

    • AudreyCB profile image

      AudreyCB 6 years ago from Colorado Springs

      Wow. I never knew anything like this ever existed. Thank you for writing about this. I've learned something new! I personally, don't believe in Climate Change but I'm all about saving energy and switching all lights for one hour will make a difference. Thanks for sharing. I believe my husband will this this is an interesting Hub as well. He loves wildlife.