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On March 29th – this Saturday – everything should go dark. Or at least I hope it will, as the WWF (World Wildlife Fund) is planning their annual Earth Hour; it’s been running for three years now and each year keeps getting bigger and better. For one hour at 8:30pm on Saturday night, people across the globe will turn off their lights, televisions and laptops and go star hunting, join an event, or maybe even just drink some wine by candlelight. It’s up to you what you do with it, but the important thing is that you take part in the great switch-off. The event the WWF organised in London – just in case you’re going to be there on Saturday night – includes acoustic acts from McFly and Sophie Ellis-Bextor. If you can’t manage to be in London that night, there is a livestream of all the events being broadcast from the WWF website.
Outside the UK and across the globe, tens of millions of people from 157 countries and territories have pledged to turn their lights off for one hour. You can see an interactive map of all the events and individuals involved with Earth Hour on the WWF website. Even Buckingham Palace is getting involved, having pledged to turn out their lights from 8.30pm. Other organisations, landmarks, celebrities and businesses are getting involved from BT offices to coca cola factories to Yoko Ono! All the money raised on Saturday night is going to support the Mau Mari Serengeti.
The WWF does a lot of work to do with animal conservation and combating climate change, work which some of you may know about, the also run a lot of events such as Earth Hour in order to raise awareness and get involved. Earth Hour is a to do just that with only a tiny bit of effort on your part. You don’t have to donate (although it would be nice – the details to donate by text or otherwise are on the WWF website), you don’t have to run a marathon, you just have to join and show governments around the world how much of an impact we can make to electricity consumption if only we are willing to try. In the UK alone we consume three times our fair share of the planet’s natural resources, and it would be interesting to see, just by turning out the lights, how much of a difference we could make to that.
Of course, turning out the lights for an hour is just the beginning. We need to make a longer standing point – and longer standing policy – with regards to energy consumption; government’s thus far have been unwilling to spell out a long term policy because it is not a huge vote winner. But with so many people joining together and saying that they recognise the problems at hand and the issues at stake, hopefully will show the powers that be that they can no longer just sweep this under the carpet; climate change is happening and it has been linked to human activity (duh!), so if we can all join together we can make a difference.
You can take part by pledging your support on the WWF website, and there’s also information of events going on as well. I know some people don’tview these issues as more important than others, such a beating disease or humanitarian crises, but hopefully, even if you just want to commit to one hour of candlelight, we can all do our bit to make a difference. Come on guys, let’s #passthepanda.