Everything About Earth Hour, Which is on 23 March 2024, 8:30PM

Did you ever have that lights off hour in school? I know I have. 

Back in primary school, we’d have one hour on a designated day to turn all the lights and fans off, where students would bring manual fans and battery torchlights to replace them.

Honestly, I don’t think any of us cared what it was about, just that it was fun to sit in a dark classroom with only the sunlight streaming in. You probably felt the same way.

Well, now you get to know.

What is Earth Hour?

Earth Hour is a worldwide movement organised by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF). This movement is an annually-occurring initiative.

The movement encourages individuals, businesses and communities to dedicate one hour to the earth, this is to demonstrate support for healthy environmental practices and sustainable energy, and can be done by switching off all non-essential electric lights.

Earth Hour acts as a powerful call to action, to urge people to take charge of their home, make peace with nature, and save the planet.

It also serves as a reminder that every individual can play a part, no matter how big or small, and when efforts are made collectively, they can have a significant impact on the environment.

In fact, Earth Hour is such a famous global movement that more than 385,000 people across 175 countries will be taking part.

From a small lights–out event in Sydney, Australia, in 2007, Earth Hour has grown leaps and bounds since then.

When is Earth Hour?

Earth Hour this year takes place on 23 March 2024 at 8.30PM till 9.30PM. The hour is not universally the same, so participants can just do it at 8.30PM in their own respective time zones. 

However, did you know that for this year, Earth Hour was actually supposed to fall on 30 March 2024?

Actually, Earth Hour is usually on the last Saturday of March, but because Holy Saturday also falls on the same date this year, the date for Earth Hour was changed to be a week earlier.

I’m Interested, How Do I Participate?

There’s really no official certificate for participating in Earth Hour, it’s more of a movement that takes initiative, which may sometimes go unrecognised.

You can switch off all your non-essential lights and just take a moment for yourself. Stay away from the fluorescent screens and just enjoy the peace of the earth without the glare from your laptop.

Afterall, besides making baby steps towards saving our planet, Earth Hour is also about appreciating it.

Not Just A ‘Symbolic Movement’

As a global citizen, everyone has a part to play in contributing towards the preservation of our home environment.

While it may not seem like you’ll make much of a difference, collective effort is all it takes to start a fire from mere matchsticks.

Actually, you may not believe me, but there’s actual statistics to support the fact that Earth Hour has made a tangible contribution towards climate action. 

Earth Hour 2022 saw a record-breaking 1,000 establishments pledging their dedication to the earth by going lights–out and environmentally friendly, these establishments include small organisations, communities and even businesses.

In addition, WWF-Singapore’s ‘Kosong Plan’ pledges towards personal Net Zero commitments have doubled since its launch last year, highlighting Singaporeans’ commitment to tackle climate change and building a Net Zero future together.

Image: Facebook

This ‘Kosong Plan’ encourages frequent coffee drinkers to drink their coffee without milk or sugar.

Huh? What does milk and sugar have to do with climate change? You may be wondering.

A lot, actually.

According to WWF, dairy production has a considerable effect on climate change due to emissions of greenhouse gases such as methane, nitrous oxide, and carbon dioxide.

In fact, during a global study on the production of dairy on carbon emissions, it was discovered that the average global emissions from milk production, processing and transport were estimated as 2.4 CO2-equivalents per kg of Fuel Pump Control Module (FPCM) at farm gate.

Moreover, according to calculations made by Carbon Balance and Management, 241 kg of carbon dioxide equivalent were released to the atmosphere per a ton of sugar produced.

While it may seem insignificant to you now, let me just remind you that Rome wasn’t built in a day; this age–old adage represents the concept that time is needed for great things to happen, in this case, great change to happen.

A Catalyst for Change

“Tonight, hundreds of millions of people raised their voices by turning out their lights. It is a simple act, but a powerful call to action,” Jim Leape, WWF-International’s Director General, said.

From a small and humble lights-out event in Sydney, to a worldwide phenomenon recognized by mega corporations and governments alike, WWF’s Earth Hour represents the collective hope of humanity for a better tomorrow.