Earth Hour: a usefull way to be environmently aware

Earth Hour: a usefull way to be environmently aware

Currently, global campaigns to achieve greater environmental awareness are carried out under different expressions. Just as there is a World Environment Day or World Water Day, the Earth Hour initiative has also been carried out for several years. 

What is the Earth Hour?  

The Earth Hour is a campaign that originated at the request of the World Wildlife Fund. It was born in 2007 in Sidney (Australia), and it is considered the most important manifestation of the environmental movement in history. 

How is the campaign organized?  

Specifically, the Earth Hour is an action against climate change and encourages people, governments, and companies to turn off the light for one hour on the last Saturday in March. This initiative makes it possible to demonstrate the general interest in the environment. It also serves as a moment of reflection and invites more activists to join and understand its importance. 

Initially, more than 2 million people adhered to the proposal. Since then, the increase has been remarkably significant, so much so that in 2018 it summoned hundreds of millions of individuals in more than 188 countries, and by 2021, it reached 192 nations. This year, the call to reflect on the human impact on the environment is for 8:30 pm on March 26. 

What is achieved by turning off the lights for an hour? 

Although having the lights off for an hour does not involve a climate action that will stop global warming, the fundamental objective is to create environmental awareness about the importance of responsible electricity consumption. It is a symbolic event so as not to forget the urgent need to take action to reduce emissions and mitigate the increase in the Earth’s temperature. 

However, some effects derived from the application of Earth Hour are reflected in: 

  • A decrease in energy demand. The first time it was implemented, it represented savings between 2.1% and 10.2% (UNCUYO, 2021). 
  • A reduction of polluting emissions, especially greenhouse gases, from human activities and responsible for a warming of 1.1 °C from 1850 to 1900 (IPCC, 2021). 
  • To cite two examples, a significant decrease in light pollution which has severe effects on ecosystems and health.  

The ultimate goal is that we all can implement environmental care actions daily and not exclusively on a specific date. Likewise, this must be a commitment of both people and companies. An example of this is Iberdrola, the Spanish multinational leader in energy transition worldwide, which for many years has turned off its buildings to join the initiative. But this is not a one-off action, with its investments in wind energy and its drive for electric mobility, it has shown itself to be a company dedicated to protecting the environment and providing clean energy. 

Earth Hour: a usefull way to be environmently aware
Earth Hour: a usefull way to be environmently aware

¿What can you do next March 26?  

We have mentioned the purposes of Earth Hour. It shows how much interest you have in environmental issues, reflects on the subject, and invites others to participate. As you will see, it is not a holiday, quite the opposite. 

In other words, it is an ideal date for some exciting activities that should even be incorporated as daily practices. In addition to the voluntary blackout in homes, businesses, and public buildings, other actions are helpful to demonstrate your commitment. Below, you will see some that you can implement. 

Earth Hour and children 

The sooner you start talking about these issues, the better the future results. Children are excellent receivers, doers, and multipliers. 

Earth Hour is an excellent time to talk to them and explain why they should protect nature, the importance of recycling and saving energy, or which species are in danger of extinction. Also, you can carry out fun activities. For example: 

  • Interesting games for children taking advantage of the use of flashlights. How about a shadow play? 
  • Organize a picnic in the dark. 
  • Suggest a treasure hunt, also with flashlights. Here the prize can be books about environmental issues to read once the blackout is over. 

Organize an “eco party” 

You can invite friends or family and have a party to benefit the planet. How? Next, we propose a way to materialize it: 

  • Use candles or other lighting based on rechargeable batteries. 
  • Serve organic food
  • Eliminate plastic utensils as much as possible. 
  • Establish ideas with your friends to protect the environment. How about a clean-up day in the nearest nature trail? 
  • To decorate, use natural plants and flowers. 
  • Talk and share your experience about what you have done to reduce your ecological footprint. The example is the best way to motivate and convince. 

Night cycling 

An excellent idea practiced in many parts of the world on the Earth Hour date is a night tour. It consists of meeting a group of lovers of this sport during the night and going out for a tour that contacts points of environmental interest, for example, a forest, a nature reserve, a mountain, etc. In addition to helping to reflect on the environment, this activity is perfect for health and does not pollute. Don’t forget to have all the protection elements. 

Set your environmental goals for Earth Hour 

Indeed, just as you set goals in other areas of your life, you can also take the opportunity to do so at this time. The difference, of course, is that in this case, the purpose is to benefit the planet. For that: 

  • Become aware of your environmental footprint and discover how you can change your habits to make them more sustainable. 
  • Set measurable and achievable goals to make your home an environmentally friendly space. Write them down and keep track of their compliance. 
  • Modify your habits towards responsible consumption involving your family, friends, and neighbors. No individual effort is as helpful as a group effort. 

In the Earth Hour, you can improve energy use 

Undoubtedly, terms like global warming or greenhouse gases are familiar to you; Currently, you hear them often, and they are issues that are related to energy consumption. Therefore, the Earth Hour is an excellent opportunity to: 

  • Replace those light bulbs that consume a lot of energy with LED technology. 
  • Change air conditioning filters. 
  • Install power switches so you can easily turn off all electronics. 
  • Propose that, from now on, you will opt for class A appliances. They are the most energy-efficient. 
  • Choose those companies committed to renewable energies. 

In short, you already have a broad overview of what Earth Hour means. You know what it is, how and why it originated, its impacts, and, most importantly, how to take advantage of that day to demonstrate your environmental commitment. Enjoy this occasion and invite others to do their part to save the planet. 

References 

Antena 3 Noticias (2021). ¿Cuál es el impacto de la Hora del Planeta y en qué consiste?
Buenas Tareas (2013). 10 Actividades Para Hacer En La Hora Planeta
FVS (s.f.). Qué es la Hora del Planeta
IPCC (2021). COMUNICADO DE PRENSA DEL IPCC
Santoyo, B. (2014). Actividades ideales para realizar durante la Hora del Planeta
UNCUYO (2021). Apagá la luz 60 minutos, sumate a “La Hora del Planeta”
Universidad (2022). Los efectos desconocidos de la contaminación lumínica: ¿qué nos perdemos de ver?
WWF (2010). Diez actividades que se pueden realizar durante La Hora del Planeta, el 27 de marzo entre las 8:30 y las 9:30 PM
WWF (2022) ¿QUÉ ES LA HORA DEL PLANETA?

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