Celebrate Earth Hour 2023 Anywhere You Are
Saturday, March 25th join millions of people across the globe switching off their lights in order to come together and take action to protect our planet.
Estimated Read Time: 7 minutes
Photo by NASA on Unsplash
What Is Earth Hour 2022
Earth Hour is one of the world’s largest grassroots movements for the environment.
Millions of people and businesses across the globe will switch off their lights simultaneously in observance of Earth Hour.
Since 2007, Earth Hour has been raising awareness to look at the next decade and beyond. The decisions our leaders make now will affect us and the planet for decades to come. So take 60 minutes and do something positive for the planet.
When & How to Cleebrate
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Earth Hour 2023 will take place Saturday, March 25, 2023 from 8:30-9:30 PM Local Time.
Participating in Earth Hour 2023 is simple!
Ways to be involved include:
- Turning off your lights for 1 hour (8:30-9:30 local time)
- Organize an Earth Hour event (instructions included)
- Attending an Earth Hour event!
- Check out 20 additional ways to spend Earth Hour from WWF!
What Does Earth Hour 2023 Hope to Accomplish
By participating in Earth Hour 2023 you’re showing your leaders that this planet matters to you. You want them to represent your — and millions of other people’s — needs and concerns about reversing climate change and the destruction of nature.
The next 7 years are absolutely crucial in protecting our planet from irreversible damage due to climate change. Participation in Earth Hour is a global symbol and reminder of the need to come together and take action.
But don’t just take our word for it! Public figures and celebrities, such as UN Secretary-General António Guterres, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Ellie Goulding, are supporters.
Additionally, the following global landmarks symbolically shut their lights out to show support of Earth Hour 2022:
- Sydney Opera House
- Beijing Phoenix Center
- Taipei 101
- Petronas Towers
- India Gate
- The Colosseum
- The Eiffel Tower
- Christ the Redeemer
- The Empire State Building
Earth Hour Can Help Make A Change
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We currently face a climate change crisis that threatens life on Earth as we know it. How we’ve been consuming products has started taking a toll on our water, air, and soil quality.
- Carbon dioxide concentration levels in our atmosphere are at a 3 million year high
- More than 8 million tons of plastic is dumped into our oceans each year
- Forests are rapidly being depleted at a current rate of over 15 billion trees annually
Now is the time to put these critical environmental issues under the spotlight.
Putting a spotlight on plastic waste is one way we can all take a step towards a healthier planet and something we’re extremely passionate about.
Plastic Kills Nature
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Plastic is versatile, durable, and inexpensive to create, but it’s nearly impossible to break down. Plastic contributes to climate change by generating heat-trapping gasses at every stage of its life cycle. In a small coastal study, scientists found more microplastic than plankton in the ocean.
- 8.3 billion metric tons of plastic have been created since its creation
- Of that, 6.3 billion metric tons has become plastic waste
- 40% of the plastic that’s produced is made for single-use products
- 8 million tons of plastic is dumped into the ocean each year
- Over 400 million tons of plastic is manufactured each year
- Some plastics can take over 1,000 years to decompose and some up to 1 million.
- As plastics slowly erode, they turn into microplastics. Animals mistake these for food and end up dying of starvation.
- Microplastics have even been found in table salt.
What Can You Do To Reduce Your Plastic Usage?
- Reduce what you use, reuse what you have, and recycle what you can
- Join a local cleanup event, or organize your own, to keep your favorite places litter-free
- Shop at local farmer’s markets and bulk bin stores, using your own tote bag to carry your food in
- Carry a reusable water bottle or reusable cup with you to avoid plastic and paper cups
- Do a plastic audit of your home, replacing single-use products with sustainable alternatives
How Earth Hour Has Helped Deforestation
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Forests are home to 80% of all terrestrial life on Earth, despite covering just 30% of land area. But forested areas across the globe are being destroyed at an alarming rate.
Since the 1960’s, almost half of the planet’s rainforests have been lost.
- More than 15 billion trees are cut down each year at an unsustainable rate that continues to increase year over year
- Over 120 natural remedies and 25% of cancer-fighting organisms are found in rainforests, with countless more medical benefits yet to be discovered
- The U.S. contains just 5% of the world’s population, yet consumes 30% of its paper
Earth Hour isn’t just about turning off the lights, it’s about helping the planet.
- WWF Uganda established the first Earth Hour Forest with 2,700 hectares of land in 2013.
- Earth Hour continues to help Uganda work against protecting forests.
- In 2015, Earth Hour helped Malaysia create a national park.
Swapping out paper products with sustainable tree-free alternatives can save trees and the 1.5 billion people who depend on them.
Forests are one of the earth’s largest carbon sinks with diverse ecosystems that remove 25% of heat-trapping CO2 that humans add into the air, replacing it with breathable oxygen.
How You Can Help Fight Deforestation
Photo by roya ann miller on Unsplash
- Use technology to go paperless whenever you can. Scanning, emailing, and zero waste notebooks are just some ways that you can reduce paper in your home or at the office
- Purchase recycled paper products, and recycle what you no longer need
- Purchase tree-free alternatives like the swaps you can find at ZeroWasteStore
- Avoid products that use palm oil, one of the primary causes of deforestation
- Plant trees whenever you can, wherever you can
- Support companies that are committed to conservation efforts
Other Ways Earth Hour Is Helping Improve Our Planet
Photo by Lizgrin F on Unsplash
There is nothing that each one of us will consume more of in our lifetimes than air, so we should all be deeply concerned about the quality of the stuff we breathe into our bodies.
- Carbon Dioxide concentration levels are the highest they have ever been in the last 3 million years, and rising quickly.
- A gradual rise in surface water temperatures is affecting the ocean’s ability to absorb CO2 from the atmosphere.
- Arctic sea ice has been decreasing over the last 30 years at an average rate of 3.2% per decade, putting freshwater supplies and entire ecosystems at great risk.
- Over 800 million people worldwide are vulnerable to the effects of climate change that has seen an increase in heat waves, droughts, floods, extreme weather events, and a rise in sea levels.
The quality of our air doesn’t just affect our individual health; it affects the health of the planet.
For the past 10,000 years, the makeup of Earth’s atmospheric composition has allowed life to thrive on the planet.
However, the rapid increase in the use of burning fossil fuels for power is gradually disrupting this delicate balance in nature, causing heat-trapping CO2 levels to saturate the atmosphere. The direct result is an unnatural rise in the global climate, which is having far-reaching and increasingly devastating effects on the environment.
Over the years, Earth Hour has:
- Helped ignite a law to be passed in Russia to protect its seas from oil pollution
- The Galápagos Islands banned plastic bags and other disposable packaging in 2014
- In Brunei Darussalam Earth Hour helped decrease the usage of energy
- Earth Hour helped Russia implement a 10 year freeze on oil projects in the Arctic
- Earth Hour helped Spanish residents tell their leaders they wanted to phase out fossil fuels and introduce renewable alternatives
How You Can Help Preserve Biodiversity and Nature
- Calculate your carbon footprint and constantly search out new ways to reduce it
- As you replace your old appliances, do so with energy efficient ones
- Walk or bike when you can, and use public transportation as much as possible
- Install a programmable thermostat to cool or warm your home efficiently
- Unplug any electronic devices that aren’t being used
And of course, participate in Earth Hour 2022 and those in the future to prevent climate change!