On March 29, all the lights went out at 8:30 p.m. local time.
Through the darkness, environmentalists around the world cheered and celebrated as 88 countries and over 4,000 cities practiced a world without power for 60 minutes.
Now in its third consecutive year, Earth Hour has become a global event organized by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF). On the last Saturday of March, it has become an eco-tradition for businesses and households to shut off their power in order to raise awareness of the much-needed action against climate change.
WWF estimates that almost 1 billion participants worldwide voted to save the Earth just by the simple action of dimming the lights. This marks the most successful Earth Hour in history, with a record number of contributors.
While the massive participation is a measure of success, we’ve got to keep up the momentum and continue the fight against global climate change. Because let’s face it — turning off your lights for just one hour, one day a year is not going to solve the problems of climate change. Much more action is needed.
WWF noted that the purpose of Earth Hour is not necessarily to cut down carbon emissions during that particular hour, but is instead meant to be a symbolic gesture about the importance of energy conservation at the global level.
The average American emits over 20 tons of carbon dioxide annually, ranking the United States the world’s top energy consumer per capita, according to the Environmental Protection Agency.
As a global community, let’s not forget to unplug cell phone chargers when not in use, shut down appliances whenever possible, and above all, shut off lights when you’re not at home. These simple actions among individuals can make a much bigger difference in the world when it comes to reducing a carbon footprint.
And who doesn’t love the dark? Through candlelight dinners and flashlight fun, communities around the world can come together, supporting a common cause.
Now that spring has arrived, it’s the perfect time to reach out and save the planet, one light switch at a time. With so many participants in this symbolic event, there’s hope that more individuals and businesses will take greater efforts to conserve their power.
We can finally see the light at the end of the tunnel — now it’s just time to take further action and dim down more lights.