“Together we can find the energy to turn the inspiration of one hour into the actions of every hour.” ~ Andy Ridley, co-founder of Earth Hour
On Saturday, March 23, 2013 at 8:30 PM Local Time more than 150 countries, over 7,000 cities and hundreds of millions of people all around the world, as well as landmarks such as the Eiffel Tower, the International Space Station, the Golden Gate Bridge and the Las Vegas strip will all be celebrating the 7th annual EARTH HOUR . I hope you will be celebrating, too!!
What exactly is Earth Hour? Basically, it is a great opportunity to show your commitment to change as part of a global interconnected community. Once a year, at 8:30 PM local time, hundreds of millions of people turn off their lights for an hour. We may do this at home, or may participate in local events celebrating the environment. Of course, that saves a whole lot of energy, and everyone has the chance to practice sustainability for one hour.
It is so much more that just the hour. In fact, the hour is just the beginning. The object is to raise awareness, and go way beyond the hour by making lasting changes in our lifestyles that will support a more sustainable environment. Last year, the challenge was taken to the next level when each of us was asked to declare: “What are you willing to do to save the planet?”
Known now as “I WILL IF YOU WILL” – individuals, businesses, schools, governments, leaders commit on the website what they are willing to do. Everything from I will dye my beard green for a week if 500 people will recycle to governments in places like Uganda and Botswana planting a million trees in the first Earth Hour Forest. No challenge is too big or too small. Commit. Make a challenge or take up the challenge someone else has posed.
You may be wondering why I am sharing this with you, and encouraging you to participate. I have been a part of this for several years, and it is a powerful opportunity to make a difference. In fact, sharing this with you is the “I will” of my challenge. What I am asking each of you to do, “if you will” is to accept the challenge and tell people about Earth Hour. Get engaged, participate for the hour. Get involved, and make a challenge of your own beyond the hour. It’s fun – and it feels great to be able to do something positive!
Called “The world’s largest voluntary action for the environment,” Earth Hour is a stunning testimonial of how much we can achieve if we are focused, caring and good stewards of the planet.
“There is no doubt about it: the world is facing some of the most critical environmental challenges in its history. That may make the journey to a sustainable future seem difficult to imagine, but it is far from impossible. Change this big needs you. It needs every one of us. Together our individual actions add up to make a difference collectively.” ~ from the WWF Earth Hour website
It is truly amazing that, in only 7 years, this grassroots effort has grown into something that has a such a positive global impact. It is humanity coming together to support the sustainability of our planet and it demonstrates the power of a group of committed people working for the greater good.
According to EarthHour.org, “Earth Hour started in 2007 in Sydney, Australia when 2.2 million individuals and more than 2,000 businesses turned their lights off for one hour to take a stand against climate change. Only a year later and Earth Hour had become a global sustainability movement with more than 50 million people across 35 countries/territories participating. Global landmarks such as the Sydney Harbour Bridge, CN Tower in Toronto, Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, and Rome’s Colosseum, all stood in darkness, as symbols of hope for a cause that grows more urgent by the hour.
This year, hundreds of millions of people in more than 7,000 cities in at least 152 countries/territories will officially switch off to pledge their support for the planet, making Earth Hour 2013 the world’s largest global climate change initiative.
Powerful stuff. Turn off the lights and take the challenge…I WILL IF YOU WILL!