On the 26st of March 2011, 8 million people in the UK joined 135 other countries in switching off their lights for an hour in a campaign to raise awareness about climate change. Earth Hour, now a global phenomenon, originated in Sydney, Australia in 2007. Following ten years of drought, the city saw their famous opera house and many businesses and homes, disappear into darkness. Residents were encouraged to spend this hour, in appreciation of the planet and its natural resources including fuel, fresh air, food and water which are taken for granted everyday. The rest of the world soon caught wind of the powerful message Sydney had created on this evening and the following year, 35 countries and 400 cities joined the movement.

Earth Hour continues to grow and every year, at 2030 on the last Saturday of March, more and more people are getting involved. This year, the Eiffel Tower, Big Ben, the Empire State Building and Christ the Redeemer in Rio are just some of the famous monuments joining the Sydney Opera House and putting out their illuminations this weekend. Earth Hour is not just about saving energy for one hour once a year; it hopes to promote environmental awareness all year round. In response to recent UK news coverage of the present drought and the panic buying of fuel when faced with a potential shortage, I will be switching off at 20:30 on Saturday 31st of March, will you?


Isabella Abbott
Sunvil Discovery