Get ready to switch off all your lights at 8.30pm tonight to mark Earth Hour – in a WWF-organised campaign that raises awareness of the issues our planet faces.
Established by the World Wide Fund for Nature, the one hour switch off was first observed in Sydney, Australia in 2007. On 31 March 2007 the Australian branch of the WWF inspired some 2.2 million people to switch their lights off. More than 2,000 businesses also got involved, in what would turn out to be the very first annual Earth Hour, paving the way for the largest voluntary movement in aid of the environment.
Today the event is marked across the world, with more than 7,000 towns and cities all taking part in recognition of a wide variety of environmental issues, both locally and globally. Held each March, participants embrace the opportunity to switch their lights off for an hour from 8.30pm local time.
How the World Celebrates Earth Hour 2014
People across New Zealand will be the first to mark Earth Hour.
More than 400 monuments across France will be plunged into darkness for an hour including the Arc de Triomphe, Notre Dame and the Eiffel Tower (five minute switch-off).
In the UK all the money raised as part of this year’s campaign will be donated to the WWF project in Mau Mara Serengeti, one of the most breathtaking settings in the world. The funds will support the rich diversity of wildlife, as well as one million residents, including the traditional Maasai communities.
China has marked Earth Hour since 2009, with millions of people taking part across 147 cities; in fact this is the largest public-engagement gathering in the country. As in France, hundreds of iconic landmarks and well-known buildings switch their lights off, including the Bird’s Nest Stadium in Beijing and the mighty.
Even Google gets involved, by turning their homepage to a black background.
Full details of events and how you can get involved with Earth Hour via the official site.