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In an effort to inspire people around the world to take action in support of the planet and the natural world, a grassroots movement known as Earth Hour was launched in 2007. The simple and symbolic act of turning lights off for an hour has since grown to include a wide range of efforts, ranging from initiatives to increase environmentally-friendly laws and policies, to motivating businesses, organizations, governments and individuals to focus on finding ways for a more sustainable future.
In 2018, 188 countries and territories targeted issues pertaining to renewable energy, biodiversity, sustainable lifestyles, plastics pollution, deforestation and climate policy. More than 17,900 landmarks and monuments, including New York’s Empire State Building, the Sydney Opera House, the Houses of Parliament in London, the Pyramids of Egypt in Cairo, the Eiffel Tower in Paris and others, turned off lights in solidarity.
The movement is organized primarily by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) in partnership with other organizations across the globe. WWF identifies its mission as “to stop the degradation of the earth’s natural environment and to build a future in which humans live in harmony with nature, by conserving the world’s biological diversity, ensuring that the use of renewable natural resources is sustainable, and promoting the reduction of pollution and wasteful consumption.”
This year’s Earth Hour is slated for March 30, beginning at 8:30 p.m. The focus for 2019 is a celebration of the diversity of life on Earth.
Take some time to think about how you might celebrate the wild and beautiful diversity of the Upper Delaware River region’s natural resources—perhaps a candlelit dinner with family and friends, or a gathering around a campfire where participants share their feelings about the night sky. Talk with folks at your favorite restaurant about holding a dining-in-the-dark event, or local churches and community centers about organizing Earth Hour gatherings to experience nature’s dimmest hours in the company of others.
For more ideas to help you plan your special hour,
visit www.earthhour.org and explore the earth hour toolkits, including one focused on schools and youth.