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What’s Earth Hour? Here’s How to Participate in the Global Movement This Weekend

Mark your calendars for Earth Hour 2021, folks! Participating in this global movement is as easy as switching off the lights.

Written by
Erika Schwerdfeger

So you’ve heard of Earth Day and Earth Month, but what about Earth Hour? The grassroots environmental movement makes big waves in a short period of time—a really short period of time. Established by the World Wildlife Fund in 2007, it started as a 60-minute lights-off event in Sydney, Australia, symbolic of a commitment to environmental preservation and to draw attention to the threat of climate change. Since then, the movement has only grown.

Now, millions of people across 180 countries and territories take part in Earth Hour. The magic happens every year on the last Saturday of March, where participants keep their lights off for one hour to show their solidarity and support for the planet. This year, the organizers of Earth Hour are keeping a focus on climate change, but are also calling special attention to the rapid loss of biodiversity and nature.

"The rate of global loss of nature during the past 50 years is unprecedented in human history,” reads Earth Hour's website. “Protecting nature is one of the most immediate, powerful, and cost-effective solutions to the climate crisis.”

How to Participate in Earth Hour

This year, Earth Hour will commence on Saturday, March 27 at 8:30pm your local time. In the past, massive gatherings and public events to celebrate Earth Hour were common, but in light of the pandemic, organizers have recommended that all gatherings be hosted virtually. They’ve also compiled a list of 20 ways to spend Earth Hour while staying in, including doing a dinner-in-the-dark (try one of these recipes!), camping in your living room, playing board games by candlelight, or streaming one of the many virtual events.

In addition to the widespread lights-off moment that has annually darkened windows, buildings, and even famous monuments (like the Eiffel Tower), the organizers planned something extra special this year. They're asking participants to watch and share a video that Earth Hour will be posting on social media the night of March 27. "Our goal is simple: Put the spotlight on our planet and make it the most-watched video in the world on March 27 (or beyond!) so that as many people as possible hear our message,” they shared.

So follow Earth Hour on Instagram, mark your calendars, and don’t keep your friends in the dark. Spread the word so as many people as possible can unite behind this movement for the good of the planet.