Digital News Report- From 8:30pm to 9:30pm local time on March 28th, lights will be shut off around the world from the Vegas Strip to the Eiffel Tower. The event, organized by the World Wildlife Fund began in 2007, when 2.2 million Sydney, Australia residents turned off their lights. In 2008 many other cities joined them by shutting off their lights for one hour on the last Saturday in March. From that point the tradition of Earth Hour was born.
“Turning off the lights is just the beginning,” said Carter Roberts, CEO of World Wildlife Fund. “We’re asking everyone to also make commitments to reduce their energy use during the rest of the year, and to ask their elected representatives to do the right thing because we need climate legislation now.”
Residents and businesses are being asked to turn off their non-essential lights and electrical appliances for one hour to bring attention to global climate change. This year 82 countries and more than 2100 cities have committed themselves to the event, which is a large increase from the 35 participating countries in 2008. San Francisco originally had a similar event called Lights Out, but when Earth Hour became an international effort, the city put all of its efforts behind it.
The United Nations building has also committed itself to the event, which they estimate will save $102 in electricity. “Earth Hour is a way for the citizens of the world to send a clear message,” said United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. “They want action on climate change.”
The official Earth Hour website has a ton of tools for people to participate in the event. They encourage taking video and pictures during Earth Hour and then uploading them later when your lights are turned on. Though it may seem like a contradiction to use electronic devices during the black out, the website assures you that the event is “symbolic” and meant to bring about action to climate change.