The World Wildlife Federation’s (WWF) annual Earth Hour presents a challenge to save energy that more and more British Columbians are finding fun and creative ways to take on.
BC Hydro’s numbers show participation is increasing each year, with the megawatt hours conserved during last year’s one-hour event nearly doubling, from 64 in 2010 to 117. That’s equivalent to 7.8 million 15-watt compact fluorescent bulbs all going dark at once.
WHERE EARTH HOUR BEGAN
In 2007, WWF-Australia inspired Sydney-siders to show their support for climate change action in the first ever Earth Hour event. It showed that everyone, from children to CEOs and politicians, has the power to change the world they live in. In Sydney, Australia, 2.2 million individuals and more than 2,000 businesses turned their lights out for one hour to take a stand against climate change.
In 2008, the plan was to take Earth Hour to the rest of Australia. But then the City of Toronto, Canada, signed up and it wasn’t long before 35 countries and almost 400 cities and towns were part of the event. It said something compelling to the world: that the climate challenges facing our planet are so significant that change needs to be global.
With the invitation to ‘switch off’ extended to everyone, Earth Hour quickly became an annual global event. It’s scheduled on the last Saturday of every March – closely coinciding with the equinox to ensure most cities are in darkness as it rolled out around the Earth.
In 2011, Earth Hour saw hundreds of millions of people across 135 countries switch off for an hour. So, mark on your calendar: Earth Hour 2012, Saturday 31st March, 8:30p.m.