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article imageGet ready for Earth Hour

By Tim Sandle     Mar 29, 2014 in Environment
At 8.30pm local time today it is estimated that people in 158 countries will switch off their lights for Earth Hour. This makes Earth Hour the world’s biggest environmental event.
Earth Hour is a worldwide movement for the planet organized by the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF). It started as a lights-off event in Sydney, Australia in 2007. The event is held worldwide and it takes place towards the end of March annually.
The aim of Earth Hour is to encourage individuals, communities, households and businesses to turn off their non-essential lights for one hour as a symbol for their commitment to the planet. In this sense, the event is symbolic rather than a calculated attempt to reduce carbon consumption. According to the Earth Hour website:
"Earth Hour does not purport to be an energy/carbon reduction exercise, it is a symbolic action. Therefore, we do not engage in the measurement of energy/carbon reduction levels for the hour itself. Earth Hour is an initiative to encourage individuals, businesses and governments around the world to take accountability for their ecological footprint and engage in dialogue and resource exchange that provides real solutions to our environmental challenges. Participation in Earth Hour symbolizes a commitment to change beyond the hour."
Discussing the 2014 event, Colin Butfield, director of public engagement and campaigns at WWF-UK told The Guardian: "It's fortuitous timing that as millions of people take part in WWF's Earth Hour, the world's leading scientists release the latest IPCC report, which highlights the various impacts of climate change. The significance of these two events is massive. Climate change is the biggest environmental threat facing our planet – it's real, it's happening right now, and we need to act fast."
Earth Hour 2014 is scheduled for Saturday, March 29, from 8:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. during participants' local time. Based on U.K. time, the event begins in Samoa and Antarctica at 6.30a.m. and finishes in Tahiti at 3.30 a.m. tomorrow. During the event, iconic landmarks from Buckingham Palace to Times Square and South Africa's Table Mountain will all switch off.
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